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As a 29-Year-Old Cancer Patient, I Find Paul Ryan’s Argument Against Health Insurance Appalling

No one should have to decide between being bankrupt or dead.

by Derek Mead
09 March 2017, 11:24pm

In mid-January I got my annual physical. I passed with flying colors. Everything looked great, I passed all the tests, I can ride a bike 100 miles at a clip, I eat well, and so on.

Two weeks later I was diagnosed with cancer.

Now I have to deal with the fact that my body has gone rogue, and that evil things are growing inside me. And yet I feel extremely lucky: I've got good health insurance, and I live in a city with excellent doctors. Millions aren't nearly as fortunate.

Today, Paul Ryan attempted to defend his disastrous healthcare proposal by making the argument that health insurance is little more than a scheme by which sick people siphon money out of healthy people's paychecks. I have three thoughts about this type of malignant buffoonery:

First, none of us are ever perfectly safe. You could get hit by a bus or have your appendix explode at any moment. It's just a hazard of being alive. It's better than the alternative.

Second, no one plans their disasters. We know that having more people with access to healthcare, especially of the preventative variety, means catching more problems before they turn into worst case scenarios. I'm exceedingly lucky to have caught my cancer relatively early.

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