Pan o Palo


My Plea
August 21, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There have been lots of pleas from various sources for Congress and the President to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill, in spite of the noise from Astroturfers and Itoldyousoists.  Very little attention has been paid to the actual ground game, the mechanisms that helped catapult Obama to the presidency and (seemed to) electrify millions of people.

Part of it, I’m certain, is that people found one thing to commit to (electing Obama) and want nothing more to do with organizing sustained change.  Another part is apathy rearing its ugly head, to be sure.  And another is good ol’, straight-up propaganda on the parts of moneyed and non-moneyed interests that either think this is some sore of unprecedented executive power grab (if that’s the case, where were you the past eight years?), or some Trojan Horse that would allow illegal immigrants to abort your Grandma’s eight month old fetus in front of Bob Barker and his “The Price Is Right”-style death panel.

Most of it, seemingly, is just plain old selfishness.  Along the lines of the great quasi-libertarian “I got mine, so fuck you” mantra.  Fine.  Let’s look at me:

Laid off in January (health coverage) courtesy of COBRA.  It would cost my wife and I an extra $600 a month for me to glom on to her coverage, roughly half a mortgage payment.  We both decided that it would be much better to pay that much to cover our soon-to-be-born daughter than me.  No brainer there.

With limited job prospects in the meantime, I’ve been left to let some nagging, smallish health issues fester.  I’m by no means unable to go about my life, but I’m willing to forgo these things for the sake of keeping a roof over our head and food in our bellies.  The absolute most infuriating thing about health coverage in this country is that it is tied (almost always) to employment.  So, as someone who’s been laid off three times in the last nine years, that means long gaps in coverage and preventative check-ups.  I know there are avenues in getting things checked out, but the follow-through and chaos that are community clinics (plus not being able to pay on a “sliding scale” because of my wife’s income) is a huge deterrent.

And so I come to my plea:

If you have one scintilla of compassion, please, please do what you can to ensure that everyone receives quality, comprehensive health care (not coverage, but care).  My situation isn’t the worst out there, but it’s just one example of how and why this should not be as complicated or difficult decision for our leaders.  A public option isn’t the end all-be all of reform, but it is a huge start in resolving a glaring and disgusting shame this country and its power brokers flaunt.

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1 Comment so far
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my mother would have loved it!?

Comment by Katlyn Booth




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