My daughter's employer in a small, 3-location chain of delis wrote his employees a letter urging them to call their representatives and protest the passage of Health Care Reform, because otherwise, he implied, he'd have to immediately start docking their pay a minimum of 15% to pay for government insurance.
My daughter called me in a swivet about this and I tried to explain the facts to her.
First of all, she will be able to stay on our insurance until she's 26, approximately 4 more years (we've told her she will have to pay for her own copays and deductibles, of course).
She claimed that her boss would dock her pay anyway, so she'd be paying twice. Not true.
Besides, I told her, poorer people would get a break on their insurance costs.
But her boss has an "answer" for that, too. In addition to the scare letter, he has also verbally and repeatedly railed to his employees against all the "ignorant NEEEEGROES" who would get a free health care ride with this bill. According to him, the vast majority of people who need health insurance should just get a job and pay for their own, not mooch off of him. "They're not even trying to find work, much less work hard." (This after he himself has had to fire people because the economy has cut down on his business. Where does he think people are going to FIND jobs in in this state, in these times?).
My daughter hears a lot of this sort of thing down here in South Carolina, and I'm afraid that after a while she starts to buy into it. So I said to her, "You have a job. You work hard. Could you afford your own health insurance?"
"You're a poor person," I said. "You know how you can tell? Ask yourself, can you afford an apartment of your own on what you make over there?"
"If you didn't have a home with us to come to, you'd be in exactly the same position as all those 'ignorant NEEEGROES' who need help with their insurance costs. Working, but not able to stretch their dollars that far on on their own. Maybe even not able to make rent this month. Soon-to-be homeless. That could be you, if not for [your parents]."
Then I added in the humanitarian argument against letting even the most lazy, "ignorant NEEEEGRO" die on the street (an argument that wouldn't have moved her cracker employer, apparently, but did make sense to her, since I raised her right.)
Bottom line, if we want to know why so many people are calling their reps and screaming against their own interests, we only have to remember how anxious bosses are to have them support THEIR interests.