I've worked with a lot of them. Many have overdrawn bank accounts but they have SSI money for smokes.
I'm not sure why so many people want to appoint themselves as the personal financial adviser to anyone who is poor. They want to attack poor people's financial decisions, analyze their purchases, and criticize where and how they spend their money. This is borne out of arrogance, i.e. "I have money and you don't so I'm better than you".
When I hear people doing this I ask them how they would feel if someone wealthier than they are started telling them how to spend their money. Invariably they take offense at such a suggestion, and I then point out this is exactly the same thing they are doing to someone who is less well off than they are. The intelligent ones can see the connection and usually feel embarrassed at their recent behavior; the stupid and/or belligerent continue onward in their ignorance.
I've stood in line at job fairs, taken a train 50 miles for a job interview, worked retail at ToysRUs, and took jobs below my education/skills to put food on the table for my family, keep the insurance going, and keep a roof over our heads.
I'm glad you're willing to do all those things - and so are many other people. Sometimes it doesn't work out for some people the way it apparently has (at least to some extent) for you. That doesn't mean anyone has the right to judge them or their financial decisions, any more than someone with more money than you has the right to judge yours.
But the reality is that jobs are out there IF YOU'RE WILLING TO WORK and work hard.
I disagree 100 percent.
There are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available. That isn't my opinion - that's a fact. It doesn't matter how hard you work, you can't fight the facts.
The situation becomes even worse if you're discussing only fully time jobs who pay a family sustaining wage and provide benefits such as health insurance. It's even more difficult to find this kind of a job, no matter how hard you are willing to work.
Are some people able to overcome these dismal facts? Absolutely. However, many more struggle, work hard, and still they struggle more. Yet many people such as yourself seem to think anyone without a job or a good job must simply be unwilling to work or must not be working hard enough.
It doesn't work that way. You can work harder than anyone and still fail, and you can be lazy and stumble upon success. That's life. Not everyone who struggles is to blame for that struggle.
Preventative care doesn't guarantee that small things don't turn into big things.
This is true, but preventative care certainly helps. If you don't understand that, then you simply don't know enough to debate this at all.
They know, over a large sample size, what behaviors lead to what outcomes. Having insurance and getting preventative care (along with encouraging people to seek medical care for small problems) is a positive factor that reduces long term medical costs. They also know increasing copays encourages people to not seek medical care until the problem becomes unbearable.
They also know they need a co-pay to discourage people from going for unnecessary things, which is why it exists in the first place. It's the same reason deductibles exist. They want people to think twice before using the insurance.
However, like you said, if you raise the costs of those things too high, people won't use it at all and will in the long run end up costing more, so they try to create a balance.
The bottom line is that everyone having health insurance, or the country getting universal health care, is a great thing. Obamacare may not be perfect, but it could be a crucial step in the right direction (which is universal health care).