The Radical Center
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The Radical Center

Anti-vax nutters are living off the taxpayers while screaming “socialism”

Central California, compared to the rest of the state, has a low vaccination rate against Covid. It is also one of the more Republican areas of the state as you might expect for a rural, agricultural area.

Now, health authorities in the San Joaquin Valley are wanting to ship their Covid patients to hospitals in areas with higher vaccination rates. KTLA reports:

“Officials in the San Joaquin Valley are expecting a difficult winter. Vaccination rates are still relatively low, and in Fresno County, the region’s most populous county, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is quadruple what is being seen in L.A. and Orange counties, and more than quintuple that of the San Francisco Bay Area.”

So they are looking to transfer Covid patients to counties where hospitals aren’t overrun because of higher vaccination rates there. That makes some sense but it should be noted this is just another way the Covidiots are passing the costs of their stupidity to others.

While these clowns scream and call everything “socialism” if they don’t like it, it is they who are picking the pockets of the rest of us for their own good. Forbes reported: “Unvaccinated adults hospitalized with Covid-19 cost the American health system at least $2.3 billion in June and July this year, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, most of which will be borne by society as a whole and not by the unvaccinated patients.”

The unvaccinated save taxpayers a pittance by refusing to get vaccinated but the costs they impose by getting sick, being hospitalized, and dying costs the rest of us billions. These parasites are quite literally “living off the taxpayers” entirely through their own fault, negligence, or stupidity. Forbes also notes that many of the vaccinated are getting tired of having to financially bailout these people.

Vaccinated Americans are swiftly losing patience with their vaccine-hesitant compatriots, many of whom are also upset at the prospect of more Covid-19 restrictions. Many believe it is the vaccine holdouts who should be paying the price for easily preventable infections and polling suggests the majority of vaccinated Americans blame the unvaccinated for the resurgent coronavirus (the same polling suggests the unvaccinated feel little responsibility for this).

Even one of the dullest bulbs in the chandelier, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) recognizes who is imposing billions in new costs each month on the rest of us. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks.” I would, however, suggest she consider that those Republicans think are “regular folks” are precisely the unvaccinated ones as well. The backbone of the GOP (God’s Own Party) is anti-science evangelicals. In Alabama they make up 49% of the population, which is one reason the current vaccination rate there is just 46%.

Kaiser Family Foundation, which deals with health issues notes evangelicals have the highest rates for refusing vaccinations. Their survey showed, “About three in ten Republicans and White Evangelicals say they will ‘definitely not’ get the vaccine, as do one in five adults living in rural areas.”

U.S. News & World Report reported that at the county level religious prevalence impacts vaccination rates.

Those counties with the highest rates of religiously unaffiliated Americans, white Catholics and greater religious diversity saw the highest vaccination rates, according to the report, while some of the least vaccinated counties are those with the largest shares of white evangelical Protestants.

Even Baptist News reported on this war on reality by evangelicals. Rev. Joel Bowman Sr. wrote the obsession white evangelicals have for gaining political power. He said, “As a movement, white evangelicalism’s highest priority is the pursuit of political power, not biblical truth.” He acknowledges a few evangelical leaders have urged vaccinations, “but these are outliers” he laments. He quotes Natalie Jackson of the Public Religion Research Institute as noting the widespread resistance to vaccinations in evangelicalism silences many: “If anything, the pattern of white evangelical resistance to vaccination has reached the point where some white evangelical leaders who might otherwise urge vaccination hesitate to do so because of the political climate.”

One reality is the anti-vaccination crowd and unvaccinated are more likely to be uninsured. That means when they go to hospital for a virus they deny exists it’s the taxpayers who pay for it. For the unvaccinated under 65 years of age, 24% of them have no health insurance. For the vaccinated it’s 12%. A poll by Pew Research in August found that 75% of those with insurance planned on getting vaccinated while only 57% of the uninsured did. And it isn’t the lack of insurance stopping them since the vaccines are distributed without any direct costs to the recipients.

What this means is these anti-vaccination types, whey they get sick, are largely being cared for off the public largess. They refuse to take precautions and then punish the rest of us for their stupidity.

Earlier this month Singapore, which had been covering health care costs for Covid patients, said they would no longer pay for the care of those who have refused vaccinations. The Ministry of Health said, “Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources.” Those Singaporians who cannot be vaccinated for legitimate reasons will still have their care covered, but those who are intentionally unvaccinated are on their own.

Even those unvaccinated with insurance continue to impose costs on others. The more health care the insurer has to pay for, the higher the premiums for all insured clients—including the vaccinated.

At the very least employers should have the legal option to refuse to hire the unvaccinated and fire those who are currently employed but refuse vaccinations. Having employees who spread deadly viruses to your customers is just bad business. The Right runs around screaming about “freedom of association” when it comes to hiring LGBT individuals, but that all fades into obscurity when it comes to “freedom of association” with the unvaccinated. The reality is employing anti-vaccination employees increases costs for the employer—especially for those who provide medical insurance for their staff. Even if two potential employees are equal in every sense, but one is unvaccinated that individual would cost more to employ on average. I would also argue employers should be allowed to pay unvaccinated employees less if they prefer, or add surcharges to their health insurance premiums that other employees don’t pay.

Conservatives, evangelicals, Republicans—but I repeat myself—love to describe any government program as socialism. Even though I oppose socialism I know that isn’t what it is, but they don’t. So let’s use their premise for a moment. If passing the costs of your decisions on to others is “socialism” the anti-vaccination Right are the biggest socialists around.


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James Peron

James Peron

James Peron is the president of the Moorfield Storey Institute, was the founding editor of Esteem a LGBT publication in South Africa under apartheid.