Okay people. Listen up. I’ve debated getting into this publicly, because it’s very clear that there are a lot of feelings involved in this health care thing, and I try my best not to hurt other people’s feelings. That said, people won’t shut up about it, and there comes a point when I’ve had enough–where enough people are talking about something, that I feel a public response by Yours Truly is justified.
It’s gotten to that point with health care.
A bit of history about me and my political views. Up to this point, I have always identified myself as Republican. Back in the day, I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh and agree with most of what he said. I’ve listed to Sean Hannity and agreed with a lot of what he said, too. Likely, I would still agree with much of what they say. However, I think that the political setup of this country has broken. It’s turned into an either-or mindset, where one side has to be Right all the time or none of the time. It’s like a sports rivalry, where you root for your team no matter what, and root against the rivals at all times. You know what? That’s not how it should work. Human lives are at stake here, not some silly person running around a field, trying to get a ball to go to a certain part of that field. We’re all on the same team. There are different ideas. Some people will come up with good ones on both sides of the aisle. Good ideas should prevail–not political allegiances.
Health care in our country is awful. Not the quality of the care–the system by which that care is provided. If you have a job that provides benefits, good for you. Pat yourself on the back. Other people don’t have jobs that give that. Don’t tell me “they should go out and get jobs that do,” because you’re being an ass if you say that. Try a little compassion. My author friends out there who are trying to make a living on their own–it’s hard for them to get insurance. It’s so expensive! I don’t think this point is debatable. Something needed to be done to rectify that point.
Allow me to emphasize: SOMETHING NEEDED TO BE DONE. The concept didn’t need to be bantered around the room and then forgotten. Action had to be taken. Enough is enough. Even if the solution ends up screwing things up more for a bit, at the very least, it would end the gridlock and allow progress to resume. A stalemate would have been a victory for no one.
People are whining that they shouldn’t need to buy insurance–that it should be a choice: if you want to have it, you can have it. If you don’t, you don’t need to. If you want to get crappy insurance, you can do that, too. To me, this isn’t a viable option. If you choose to not get insurance, and then you get dreadfully sick, who ends up paying for those hospital visits? Case in point: your wife is pregnant, there are complications, and the bill ends up coming to more than $2 million (a friend of mine had this happen). You, in your infinite wisdom, said you didn’t want insurance. You don’t have $2 million. That money has to come from somewhere, or else the baby dies. Do we let the baby die? Of course not. But the bill still needs to be paid, and in the end, I pay it. How do I pay it? With the overinflated health insurance costs and doctors bills I’m saddled with. Your poor decision–your decision not to prepare for the future and be ready for what might come–has had a direct impact on me. Thanks a lot.
In my opinion, choosing not to buy insurance should not be an option. If you have the money, you need to have it. If you don’t have the money, you need to be granted it. It doesn’t work if only some people get it–those few end up paying for the many who don’t. (Of course, I also have some pretty strong opinions about how welfare and “need” are defined in this country, but I won’t go there too much–just enough to say that I think certain steps (random drug and alcohol testing to get welfare, better supervision and enforcement of the distribution of funds, etc) need to be taken. I also think that everyone should actually, literally PAY taxes. The fact that I get so much money back from the government each year–while it makes me happy–doesn’t seem right to me. Why should I end up paying nothing while people who work hard and have lots of money end up paying so much? Flat tax. No refunds. End of story. But those are both blog posts for another day when I’m feeling even grouchier.)
Next point: using religion to argue for or against the health care thing needs to stop. I’m looking at you, Mormons. For every one that brings up talks about the evils of socialism, there’s another who brings up the United Order. Separation of church and state, folks. Let’s just not go there.
Have I offended enough people yet? Do you see why I don’t really feel like getting into this stuff normally? I can predict what will happen–I’m going to get comments, and the comments will start throwing rocks at other comments, and everyone’s just going to get madder and madder. It might not happen for this post, but it’s been happening any other time people post about health care. All friction, no fire.
My point is that this health care debate is a perfect example of what’s wrong with government these days. It has us all bickering with each other. Arguing. Trying to “win” the battle. Politicians just keep that fighting going. The easiest way to win an election these days is not to show why you’re so good for the job–it’s to show why the other guy is so bad. Can you imagine a job search that worked that way? With everyone coming in to smear the other candidates? Meanwhile, the 24 hour news cycle stands on the sideline, cheering it all on, and throwing rocks now and then whenever things get too civil.
Politics these days is like American Idol, but without as much rational thought. And speaking as an ex-American Idol fan, I’ll tell you something: once you stop watching, it just doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Who wins? Who loses? I don’t care. The same thing with the 24 hour news shows and the radio hosts–if you stop listening, you stop getting so darn upset.
Stop getting so upset! Stop complaining about the “country you once loved.” Stop talking about how the Republicans are red-neck idiots, or the Democrats are high brow Socialists. (If you want to keep talking about how Sarah Palin is a money-grubbing, publicity-hungry troglodyte, though–please feel free.) Stop letting politics pull people apart. If you’ve got a problem with things, recognize that now and then, the majority of the people will believe your “solution” is wrong, just as you believe theirs is wrong. Speak your piece, logically and rationally, and then don’t be a sore loser when you don’t “win.” The country isn’t going to go to hell in a day, and this oh-so-vital thing that seems so important today won’t seem nearly as important a year from now. We’re humans. We make mistakes, but we also adapt.
Meanwhile, this post has gone on far enough. I have more thoughts about this, but frankly, I’m too jaded to feel like posting them anymore. (That and I used up my fifteen minute break, then my lunch break to write this blasted thing!) I’m officially no longer thinking of myself as Republican. I’m Bryceian. A Bryceocrat. Part of the Bryce Party. I’ll vote for who I think makes sense, regardless of party lines. I’ll vote for the issues that mean the most to me, regardless of who came up with the idea. I’ll listen to people on both sides of the argument, and then I’ll make a choice on my own–a choice that might be right and might be wrong. Regardless of how the rest of the country votes, I won’t feel “betrayed.” I’m still just as much of an American as they are, and they’re just as much of an American as I am.
Feel free to join me.