Henry Rollins: The Column! Obamacare vs. the American Death Machine
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
The fallout from SCOTUS upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has been a great lesson in civic morality. The pundits' heads are aflame and spinning! The socialist tyranny is here! Here comes President Obama in his big government tank! Your freedoms are being crushed underneath its fascist treads!
No, really, I think the dramatics are cute and funny. The audacity of the president to get America off its ass to be more responsible!
No matter how complicated you want to make things, it's actually a very simple matter. Take this example: Bubba, a man with no health insurance, lives his kick-ass American life. In the process, he gets overweight and ruins his heart and respiratory system by taking bad care of himself.
This is a man exercising his liberty. Real Americans are big on that.
One day Bubba falls down and goes boom. His family rushes him to a local emergency room, where he is stabilized after what will later be diagnosed as heart trouble. He will spend a few days in the hospital.
The bill will be enormous. Can he pay it? Oh, hell no. Someone will pay. Not God, and not Paul Ryan.
Who pays for Bubba? I do. I have health insurance. My rates go up because Bubba is irresponsible.
If Bubba was truly the rugged individual he claims to be, cut from the coarse bolt of Ayn Randian fabric, he would no doubt refuse treatment and die. The thing is, he is not a rugged individual. You want to see rugged? Vietnam, India, Sudan -- that's rugged. Bubba couldn't hack it for a day.
The president proposes something sensible and preventive to keep Bubba and others like him in better shape. Bubba freaks out. Bubba is, in fact, a leech and a freeloader.
In the summer of 1984, I got it. I got all I had to know and then some. I didn't need to read the paper, I didn't need to watch the news. By making endless laps around the country on tour, playing music almost every night in the tough part of tough towns, I got it. Got what? I got the picture. I saw where America was and, more importantly, where it was going. I was right about all of it.