Here are two quotes re: health care for you:
“This is not a political issue. This is a moral issue and it’s time to fix it.”
“If [Pres. Obama] accomplishes health care that will be the end of America.”
What America needs, imo, is Health Care and not just Health Insurance.
Oh. And there’s a sign that I wish I could show you. Oh wait. I can. I’ll just pause the TV and take a pic with the iPhone camera. Pardon the CRT scan lines.
In particular, observe the “Obama: R.I.P. American Dream 1776-2008” sign. I’ll get to that in a bit.
Facebook Status Wars
Do you remember a week or two ago when that wall post was going around Facebook? You know. The “No one should die because they can’t afford health insurance” status. Frankly, I was shocked by some of the responses. Obviously, the responses were political. I don’t believe that my friends, especially the good Christians, really disagree with that statement on its face. I am 100% sure that they don’t want poor people or their children or some of my relatives to suffer and die just because they either can’t afford health insurance or because they can’t find a job that will provide health insurance.
And I’m sure that my Christian friends don’t laugh insidiously at the thought of Jesus, their Lord and savior, telling that cripple dude that was lowered through the roof that unless he could prove that he could pay — I’m sure Jesus and the apostles could have used a few more donkeys or sandals or something to spread the good word — he was S.O.L.
I know this.
And yet the responses were reactionary, childish and, frankly, immoral.
Like the sarcastic rejoinder: “If you believe that no one should ever die and puppies should poop rainbows and money should grow out of the ground, post this as your Facebook status.”
The other day someone said that a friend of his thinks that people who are rich or successful deserve better health care. That’s bordering on eugenics via corporation/maximum profitability.
What does that have to do with people who are literally dying because they can’t get coverage because of a pre-existing condition? Sorry. You already have cancer so there’s nothing we can do for you. That … is rationing.
I’ve mentioned this before. I’ll mention it again. Last year I was in the emergency room and saw a Caucasian soldier walk up to the receptionist with a young woman. He asked what his options were because his pregnant fifteen year old sister was having complications. He said that he couldn’t afford to pay and that his medical benefits didn’t cover her. The receptionist said that, of course, they would treat the girl. And he asked, how will I pay for it? And the receptionist said, “Don’t worry, sir. We’ll treat her.”
And of course, they did. Who is going to pay the bill? When he’s deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan, will a $10,000 emergency care bill be waiting for him in the mail?
Why, I ask myself, are all of these outraged, frightened people old and white? Why, I wonder, are all of these Medicare/Medicaid recipients so adamant that they retain their health benefits and are terrified that the system will be improved for sub-seniors? I’ll get to that in a bit, too.
The First Amendment
Town halls. Joe Wilson.
I’m tired of people ,who I can only imagine listen to Rush or Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, crying foul when the unruly mobs intentionally and strategically preventing discourse at town halls are described negatively. You, sir or madam, are full of s—. There’s a right to free speech and assembly. There are also consequences.
People showed up at some town halls, even one where the President was speaking, with loaded guns. Legal for them to do so. And they were all treated as citizens expressing themselves as long as the situation was relatively calm. A few years ago, protestors were being kept in Free Speech Zones — let me say that again — Free Speech ZONES!!!
Apparently, it’s okay to disturb the peace and to be aggressive, even physically, and to form an angry mob. It’s okay to compare the President to or outright call him Hitler. It’s okay to pray publicly that the President will be killed or conveniently die. But somehow criticizing people for being assholes is somehow suppressing free speech?? How’s that work again?
Note that I’m not necessarily criticizing (yet) what they were saying, but how they were saying it in angry, paranoid, ignorant mob form. Following a strategy. Not that they weren’t often real people with real concerns and fears. But they were real, misinformed people using specific tactics from right-wing and anti-reform quarters. They are real people who believe outrageous lies.
And that’s a shame because they have some real concerns that aren’t being heard. These are people with children and grandchildren, all of whom should have the best health care possible. These people mobbing the town hall meetings want the best for their families. They’re concerned about the deficit (all of a sudden), which is a legitimate concern. They want to make sure that any reforms don’t have unintended consequences by way of Byzantine legislative interactions.
They may not think that reform needs to be comprehensive. Or that it should/could be accomplished in stages — rolled out. They’re afraid of government bureaucracy and what that could mean for when they and their loved ones need quick and responsive care that requires approval for procedures.
But do we hear that? Nope. We see an angry crowd shouting at a congress person for not answering a question. And then shouting down the congress person when he or she tries to speak. Then they rail about death panels, Nazis, the death of America, Socialism and anything else that could possibly scare them.
To my Republican and Conservatives friends, please don’t let the paranoid and the conspiracy nuts become the voice of the political and social Right Wing. Birthers, Deathers, Tenthers. All being pandered to by legislators. It’s a shame.
Scared White People
This probably doesn’t mean you if you’re still reading this. The same as when I complain about some black people on the Metro I’m not talking about everybody. I’m talking about some, which just happen to be the most vocal or visible.
Note that when the Clintons were trying to reform health care people were not wailing and gnashing their teeth in the streets about it being the “end of America”. They weren’t crying on TV about how they’ve lost “their” America.
I’m going to use the word racism. Maybe xenophobia is a better word.
I tried listening to Sandy Rios’ podcast. She was president of Concerned Women for America for a while. Now she’s back in Chicago(?) and has a radio show. I couldn’t listen because she has, apparently, gone off the deep end. To paraphrase her, she said:
“I don’t care what anyone says. Obama did not have the same upbringing as us. No matter what you say. He is not one of us.”
Of course, Glen Beck said that Obama is a racist that hates white people.
Obama has “over and over again” exposed himself as “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don’t know what it is…”
“I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem,” Beck said. “This guy is, I believe, a racist.”
Look at this and observe Pres. Obama’s intense hatred of white people — like his mother, grandmother and entire maternal side of his family, his classmates and colleagues. Oh, the utter hatred in his eyes.
There is a population of white people who are afraid of black people. Well, they’re afraid of change. The thought of a black president — expressed by a woman interviewed on NRP who said that she was afraid that if Obama were elected black men would push her off the sidewalk — is disconcerting to this population.
These are the people who say that they feel like “their America” or the America that they knew and loved is gone or is in danger. Anyone who says or holds a sign that says that America ended in 2008 — racist. Not in that they hate all black people or that they think they are inherently superior to black people. They’re racist because they’re afraid of black people. They’re afraid, maybe, of some kind of revenge for the sins of the United States of America against minorities and against its own tenets and founding principles.
They, in their strange fear-twisted reasoning, think that a black president wants them dead. They are willing to believe that Obama wants to set up government panels to hasten their deaths.
Not because they’re stupid, but because they’re frightened. Fear short circuits rationality. Ignorance is much easier than the work it takes to accomplish something useful. Saying “No” is much easier than proposing a viable alternative.
But I refuse to be all doom and gloom today. It’s a beautiful day. I’m off work for the week and have no idea what to do with myself. I do know that I don’t want to be inside all day. Man. I want my bike back.
Anyway, the brilliance of the Obama Adminstration’s strategy is that they set a goal to have the health care bill passed before Congress’s recess in August. That goal was not achieved, but in failing to reach it the conversation and proposed legislation is farther along than any of us would have imagined. And even those who are adamantly opposed to a public option … well, I’m hoping to hear something substantive from them.
We’re actually reaching the point of discussion as opposed to just shouting, punching, loaded guns and biting each other’s fingers off. That’s progress.
Meanwhile, America, how about some preemptive health care? I’ve been really happy to see a lot of people exercising and making better eating choices. Coming home from work I see middle aged black women going for their evening walks. Some in groups. That is such a great thing to see.
To everyone making an effort, keep it up. You’re doing good work. It’s the best health care you can have, to take care of yourself.
I’m with you.
I think I’ll go outside and take some pictures. Have a great day, everyone.