In one of Ayn Rand’s novels, I think, she inserts a kind of parable of socialism in the context of the larger story. She (I think it’s she) has one of her characters tell the story of a community’s descent into envy, jealously, backbiting and bitterness as a result of a failed socialist experiment. As I recall it, the story was psychologically acute, but it was fictional.
In yesterday’s New York Times, Lori Gottlieb provides a true life glimpse of our dawning socialist future:
The Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to pay for the Affordable Care Act-compliant option: now if I have Stage 4 cancer or need a sex-change operation, I’d be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions. Never mind that the new provider network would eliminate coverage for my and my son’s long-term doctors and hospitals.
The Anthem rep cheerily explained that despite the company’s — I paraphrase — draconian rates and limited network, my benefits, which also include maternity coverage (handy for a 46-year-old), would “be actually much richer.”
I, of course, would be actually much poorer. And it was this aspect of the bum deal that, to my surprise, turned out to be a very unpopular thing to gripe about.
“Obamacare or Kafkacare?” I posted on Facebook as soon as I hung up with Anthem. I vented about the call and wrote that the president should be protecting the middle class, not making our lives substantially harder. For extra sympathy, I may have thrown in the fact that I’m a single mom. (O.K., I did.)
Then I sat back and waited for the love to pour in. Or at least the “like.” Lots of likes. After all, I have 1,037 Facebook friends. Surely, they’d commiserate.
Except that they didn’t.
Do read the whole thing. Gottlieb is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and a psychotherapist, but she could learn a thing or two from Ayn Rand (if that’s who I’m thinking of), among many others.