Thursday, December 12, 2013

Michigan NRC Member: Gay People Want Health Insurance Because of AIDS

Dave Agema is a former Michigan state representative and a current member of the National Republican Committee. He recently attended a Republican Party Holiday Reception in Bridgman, MI, and asserted to the crowd that he stands proudly against homosexual marriages. He also asserted that gay people want to get married because of AIDS. Not because promoting a culture of monogamy and commitment might shift cases of new HIV/AIDS infections. No, he told them that gay people want to get married because they have AIDS and need health insurance!:
He has taken flak nationally for his stance against gay marriage, but he said he doesn't mind because while working at American Airlines, he saw firsthand what happens when benefits are extended to gay people.

He said American Airlines workers would say a person with AIDS was their lover so that person could get medical benefits.

"Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they're dying (when they're) between 30 and 44 years old," he said. "To me, it's a moral issue. It's a Biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and it's in our platform. Those in our party who oppose traditional marriage are wrong."
What planet is he living on?

1. Not all gay people are HIV-positive, nor do we all have AIDS.

2. It's the rare person who gets free family health coverage. I have family coverage for my son. It's not a free add-on feature. It costs extra -- and that's okay because I'm responsible and because he's my son and I want his health needs to be met. The same would be true if I ended up putting Husband Mark onto my health insurance plan.

3. Did I mention that it's not free medical? It's our health plans paid for with our money that we earned doing paid work tasks. So what's it matter to Dave Agema how we spend our health care dollars?

4. Let's assume that I was dying of AIDS right now, why shouldn't I seek the financial and medical protection of my husband's health insurance plan? What's the alternative? Should I be uninsured and die with a large, unpaid medical debt? Should the hospital and other medical providers go unpaid because I had AIDS? Or is the issue that I should remain uninsured and my husband be left with a dead spouse and a huge bill that will financially devastate him and our son?

5. Let's assume that I was dying of COPD or heart disease or Alzheimer's disease, would there be the same moral judgment against my death? Would it be less objectionable for me to share health coverage then with my husband?

1 comment:

Katy Anders said...

As you point out, health insurance is, um, a good thing to have regardless of any condition you might have or might get in the future.

The thing with HIV/AIDS is that there's actually a fairly good primary care network for folks who don't have insurance under the Ryan White Care Act (at least in most areas of the country).

The same sort of network doesn't exist for people with cancer or diabetes or Parkinsons, so people with those conditions might be more at risk of faking marriages for health insurance.

of course, now that we have the ACA, this shouldn't be a factor anymore, should it? I'm certain that Agema supported that, especially since it negates the reason gay people want to marry...