thene: Frank at the end of TTS, with his facemask open. (frank)
thene ([personal profile] thene) wrote2014-11-20 11:15 pm

an aside on the obvious

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/19/obamas-order-wont-extend-obamacare-to-undocumented-immigrants/

^^^in headlines like this, 'undocumented immigrants' often means 'all immigrants'; in this example, it definitely means me. This is how the Good Immigrant Bad Immigrant game works.

I signed up for an ACA plan in the last enrolment period back in spring. I was told that even though I was not applying for any subsidies I had to wait, because the shitty website couldn't verify that I was a Good Immigrant. So did my husband, because he's married to an immigrant. I got a letter in the mail requesting more documentation, which I submitted; we never heard anything back.

Saying that some people cannot legally buy a thing creates an opportunity for gatekeeping. The gatekeeping will be used to keep even more people out, because patriotism!!! It's most obvious with jobs; where some people are illegal workers (please pause to try to imagine how we came up with the idea of illegal work; it is the most lolwat thing ever), no one has any labour rights. The gates can be slammed at any time.

The US tax code is lurking around in an insidious fashion. Since Nixon (at least), the tax code has been used as the US's benefits system. The ACA is only the latest benefits system to be bolted to the tax code even though it has no business belonging there. The continual tension here is that undocumented immigrants pay taxes. (I love reminding people of this). If people you don't want are paying taxes and the tax system is also the benefits system, you have to create specific subsystems that render those unwanted people ineligible for the benefits part of the tax system. There has to be a gate or something awful might happen, like people being able to access healthcare when they get sick.

The whole disaster of public health in America is due to people deciding that some people don't deserve to access medical care. I'm apparently one of them. The cherry on the cake is that this whole beautiful thing gets framed as 'how dare immigrants come here to receive the glorious benefits of this health system' when in reality, this shit sucks compared to what you get where we came from. In every country where any of us came from. (Almost). We have all made our compromises, and having to deal with the shit factory that is US healthcare delivery is a massive sacrifice we've all made. We could have had universal care for life but instead we're here for some godawful reason.

What you're really all scared of is that we'll start telling everyone that.