Jackie De Carvalhof A sentiment expressed by Janine Urbaniak Reid as well. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An interesting experiment today! One of the most-read pieces on washingtonpost.com is written by a civilian on everyone’s favorite topic (by default, everyone’s favorite topic is “not the turkey-plucking debt ceiling”): Janine Urbaniak Reid’s story of how lifting the lifetime coverage caps and allowing children under 26 onto their parents’ health insurance, as Obamacare has allowed, probably saved her from bankruptcy. She has a teenage son with a brain tumor, which makes her not a good investment for health insurance companies.

But crucially, Ms. Urbaniak Reid has been warned away from us, the Post commenters!

This is a common psychological explanation for hostility toward unlucky people — that humans want to believe the world is fairer than it is, so we can protect ourselves by acting right.

So, are we in fact mean in order to deny our own vulnerability? Ms. Urbaniak Reid might need to check her facts, because we here in the PostScript Bunker ARE actually invulnerable, thank you very much. The walls are nine feet thick and we have special air-tasters to breathe our air for us in case it’s poisoned. And we would not believe any doctor who thinks it’s a good idea to cut us open or make us eat little pills. It’s a very inexpensive plan.

JeromeBarry1, on the other hand, feels too vulnerable/unlucky him or herself to feel for Ms. Urbaniak Reid:

Oh, by the way I don’ care about your sob stories. My own family has our own sob stories and your precious government is no help at all.

And some commenters do feel for the author and her son, but doubt the ends will justify the means:


While I sympathize with you and your son, you are an example of the problem: because it is good for your family, it must be good. You are as selfish as the Republicans you dismiss. But what about all the families whose children will not play basketball or have their own room to clean because their healthcare premiums are increasing. This law has significant costs and while your son may benefit thousands have been hurt. Perhaps you should sympathize with them like you asked to do for you.

Though eschwinn counters that we don’t know what the ends will be:

Bookworm90 is weighing a current good against hypothetical future negatives. To me and I hope to most, the current good wins. If we ever get to the point where this program is causing huge problems, let’s rethink. Until then, let’s be happy for this family.

stljoe thinks there must have been some other way to help situations like the author’s:

What about your situation makes it necessary to triple my health care costs by forcing me into a gold plated health insurance plan I don’t need?

jschmidt2 agrees:

The pre-existing condition clause could have been passed without forcing everyone to pay higher premiums, higher deductible, bankrupting the country, forcing doctors to retire, increasing costs. Nice human interest story but typical liberal story to tug at the heart with little application to what is going on in politics.

But tunkefer does not:

Really? You really think that insurance companies would eat the cost of guaranteed issue out of the goodness of the heart? What makes guaranteed issue in ACA works is that it grows the pool of insured larger by supplementing poorer folks to buy coverage and the employer and individual mandate.

And there were some suggestions about other ways teenagers with brain tumors could get care without the further costs to others:


Assigned risk pools for the uninsurable. Under the old system, a policy from an employer had to be provided on a guaranteed issue basis. Allow that to be done by non-employee groups.


Income tax credits for pro bono medical care?

Both of which sound to PostScript like insurance companies eating the costs or the government eating the costs for sick people who can’t afford care, via charging more in taxes to other people to pay for it. We should totally pass a law like that.