You all know me well enough by now to know that even while I've been trying to cope with feelings of loss and sorrow, I've still been paying attention to the news. I can't help it...it's just my nature. (Thanks, Dad! Mom, too--she's a lot more interested than she used to be, and she pays attention to what is going on.)
I missed some when everything was so hectic, but I've been watching closely lately. I watched as the vote passed the Senate and cheered when it did; I watched as a jubilant President used 22 pens to sign the bill into law. I was grinning right along with him. I've gotten into debates online with some local folks, including one guy who seemed to really dislike me. He called me an "old school hippie," and when I flashed him a virtual peace sign, he flipped me a virtual bird. Where's the love, man? He said that I seemed to think I was a great writer; I said I'd made no such claims, and what I wrote there is just the way I write; he said that I had insulted others on the forum and that he would make sure to speak up in any further threads that I "corrupted," although I had insulted no one, and I fail to see how voicing my opinion is in any way corrupting the thread. I could only conclude that when it came right down to it, he just didn't like me because I was an uppity woman who dared to voice an opinion that was different from his. When he tried to browbeat me into accepting his opinion, I stood my own and would have none of it, and he didn't like that, either. How many times do I have to say it? Don't fuck with me. Seriously.
Anyway, what I saw there was someone who, when they didn't get their way initially, resorted to bullying and name-calling. Oh, did I forget to mention that he said that I had my head up my ass? Yes, that too. I think my experience on a local thread was a microcosm of what we're seeing on a national level. When certain types don't get their way, they resort to hurling insults and epithets, and as we've recently seen, they aren't averse to launching a loogey now and then. There is a word for such behavior: childish. I guess when you can't get your way in an argument by using your own reasoning, you have to go to your fallback position of acting like a brat throwing a tantrum. It's amusing to watch, but it really is rather unseemly and doesn't further your argument at all.
I've also enjoyed some much more satisfactory discussions with Cousin Curt--at least we can argue our points without resorting to such tactics. That's what happens when you've got a couple of intelligent people who understand that true and productive debate is based upon facts and reasonable hypotheses, not simple gainsaying (think Monty Python's Argument Clinic) or petty insults. In these discussions with Curt, I returned to my underlying theme about health care, which is that I feel that it is our moral obligation as a country to provide for all of our citizens.
I realized that as long as we have that dichotomy in our country, there will be no resolution and no real agreement between those who supported insurance reform and those who opposed it. For the opposition, it will always be about cost/timing/entitlement, and in the case of the crazy opposition, it will always be about socialism/death panels/handouts. For supporters, it will continue to be about compassion/logic/cost savings.
Isn’t that a great picture of Secretary Clinton giving President Obama a hug after the bill passed? It must have been so gratifying for her to see it passed after she tried to get it done twenty years ago.
A common argument is that everyone can get health care here, they just have to go to the emergency room. I'm going to say it flat out, right now: that is a retarded argument, and stop using it. Just stop it. ER costs are outrageous, and when you've got people going to the ER for non-emergency situations like sore throats and minor infections, or for complications from treatable conditions that they aren't seeing a doctor for regularly, it drives the cost up for everyone. Everyone. See what I'm saying? It causes insurance to be higher for all of us when people are relying on emergency rooms for general health care. If I hear anyone use that argument again, I'm going to issue a well-deserved smackdown, and it won't be pretty, because I'm getting sick of hearing that ridiculous argument. Fair warning.
It all comes down to that moral obligation, at least for me. For those who would deny coverage to all, I wonder how you would feel if you had loved ones with a serious condition who couldn't get coverage. I wonder if you would help them with their medical bills? How would you feel if you lost your job and your health care coverage, and then found out that one of your kids had leukemia? It happens to people all the time, and I suppose it's easy to sit back and say "We can't do this...it's too expensive" when it's someone else's loved one. Maybe if it were yours, you might feel differently. For all those Republican legislators who opposed, to a person, the bill, but maintain that they care about everyone, they really do...my question is if you cared about us all so damn much, why the fuck didn't YOU do anything when you had the majority? You cared but just didn't care quite enough, I guess. Maybe you need to shut up and stop being sore losers, quit talking about repeal, and for crissake, stop talking about Armageddon. Seriously.