Al Jazeera is always good for laugh in its coverage of US social issues, and the Middle Eastern news outlet didn’t fail to deliver with this latest piece on US health care.
Meet one Gibson Glass, a Manhattanite who is too poor to afford health insurance:
Gibson Glass, 58, enjoys his jogs though New York City’s Central Park.
But he is not just running for fun. Gibson is one of more than 40 million Americans who does not have health insurance.
So, for Gibson, regular exercise is a form of health insurance. He is a freelance picture framer, and he says he simply cannot afford to pay about $600 each month on insurance.
He says that the United States’ healthcare system is “totally messed up” because, as he puts it, “everybody should be able to afford health insurance, whatever their income, and I have a pretty good income, I just can’t afford it.”
Gibson has worked out the odds and is making a rational decision, based on his circumstances.
Poor guy. Surely he’s scrimping every penny and living on the edge, right?
In the meantime, he would rather spend his precious money on going to the theatre and concerts and seeing friends for dinner.
These are things that give his life quality, and, as he says, “make him a healthier person”.
So he chooses to live in the most expensive borough of the most expensive city in the country and instead of purchasing health insurance, he’s going to regularly purchase Broadway tickets (which are about $150 on average), dine out in Manhattan’s Zagat-rated restaurants with friends, and see Liza Minnelli in concert.
And if he *does* get sick after living this life of luxury in the playground of the wealthy known as Manhattan, he’s going to hand the bill to those of us who cannot afford to live in Manhattan, feast at Zagat-rated bistros, or enjoy the latest musical starring Mario Lopez.
I know many whiny people who earn decent incomes yet claim they “cannot afford health care.” All of them are just like Mr. Glass — they have sufficient income to purchase insurance just like the rest of us, but they instead prefer to spend the money on luxuries like iPhones with high-end service contracts, concerts, meals out, new cars, and vacations. No, they’re going to buy the luxuries and pass the bill for the necessities on to you and me.
Too bad this “inconvenient truth” has yet to be inserted into the Great Healthcare Debate.
Meanwhile, Gibson, it’s time to move to New Jersey, get a room-mate, learn to cook, rent some Broadway DVDs, and pay your own damn health insurance bill.
Hat tip to Delaware Libertarian for the pointer to the article.