I’m in this mood for a number of reasons that are interrelated. I’m going to try to make this blog post flow and make sense.
When it comes to healthcare, I have a biased opinion. Why? Because I’m one of the millions of Americans who do NOT have healthcare. When I tried to apply for my state healthcare plan, my application counselor told me “I’m going to be honest with you. More than likely, you won’t be approved. Unless you’re pregnant, over a certain age, or have a life-ending illness you will not be approved.” Like she predicted, I was not approved. I was dropped of my father’s healthcare plan when I was 21. I am now 24. Yes, it’s only been 3 years, but it’s been an expensive, hard 3 years. My perfect financial credit is in jeopardy as a result of my high medical bills that I cannot afford to pay on. This in particular hurts and irritates me because I’ve always considered myself financially responsible (I didn’t make the poor financial choices that contributed to the crumbling economy of today), and yet, with all the frugal planning, I am STILL in financial distress. Nothing like not bearing fruit from your labor. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars in co-pays, pre-pays, and prescription fees. I feel like I am being penalized for being sick.
I’ve gotten to the point where I will allow myself to get HORRIBLY sick trying to cure myself before I even CONTEMPLATE going to the doctor. Others in my immediate family do not have healthcare and have overwhelming, consistent issues. On the “Dr. Oz” show, an enormous free clinic was setup and the response was a telling portrait of the state of healthcare in America. Needless to say it’s a desperate situation. Millions of Americans are like myself and are without insurance; unable to have crucial care they need to survive and beat illness. Many are forced to sell sentimental and/or needed assets to pay medical bills and fees.
As I watch the healthcare debate in Washington ensue, my blood boils. While the politicians bicker amongst themselves like children on a playground with their disgusting partisanship (you’ll read more about that in a minute), people are suffering and/or dying because they cannot AFFORD to get treatment and live. As MSNBC’s Keith Olberman put it (love him or hate him), we are fighting against death. The healthcare debate is a fight against DEATH. Part of the DELAY in reforming healthcare is genuinely because some politicians want to get it right and make the best decision; hence the debate as everyone’s got different ideas on what the “best decision” is. The other part, however, is driven by PARTISANSHIP. Disagreeing with an idea or plan just because it’s coming from the opposition, as supposed to disagreeing because you honestly don’t like the idea. It’s separatism. The good ole’ “you vs. us.”
Focused on winning and losing, some politicians are more concerned about defeating the opposite party than making decisions that will improve American life. Meanwhile, I stand a citizen in the center of the room trying to get their attention, like “Hey, I’m here. Helloooooo?? I thought this was about me.” There are pundits and politicians who seem like their whole PURPOSE IN LIFE is to argue with and hate the opposition. It’s the mentality of “simply because you are republican or democrat, I will disagree with or question EVERYTHING you say and do. I will see no good in you. You are inherently evil and I will do everything in my power to make it CLEAR I oppose you, no matter what the COST.” The guilty pundits and politicians are self-defeating. Any valid criticisms of a rivaling party’s decisions or plans aren’t paid attention to because they’re surrounded by statements full of aggressive prejudice, hatred and bias. They get so wrapped up in the partisanship, that they forget why they cared to chose a party in the first place. They get so wrapped up, that their party loyalty appears almost religion or cult-like.
Partisanship is a destructive, DIVISIVE, unproductive and sabotaging force. Ultimately, it makes the country’s progress STAGNANT and nothing gets done.
Another reason why the road to healthcare reform is so rocky is because of extremities. When it comes to designing policies and making decisions, politicians always go the extremist route: democrats ALL the way to the left, republicans ALL the way to the right. Now, I’m a pretty “black and white” person myself, but there are certain things in which you have to go down the middle. Sometimes, and often in government, extremities produce negative results. Even with that being the case, it doesn’t seem to deter politicians from wanting to impose extremist policies. Do we ever learn?
Where I Get Pissed
We’ve learned so far that I’m pissed about the state of healthcare, partisanship and extremist policy. This all boils down to me being pissed that after my vote, NOTHING has changed. I did my civic duty: I educated myself on the issues, paid attention to campaigns, listened to the speeches and registered to vote. I got my guy in office-- the guy I THOUGHT would able to deliver bi-partisan ideas and policies, and yet it’s STILL politics as usual. Same script, different cast. I am sitting here wondering “will I ever matter?” Will voting ever mean that I will see the change I hope for as a citizen? Here’s where I get jaded. Here’s where I think to myself “now I see why some people don’t believe in or care to vote.” Politicians will NEVER eat from the same bowl I eat from; therefore, they don’t care what happens to me at the bottom. This is the part where I feel like a powerless subordinate to government again and don’t trust what Washington has to say. This where I think “These rich pricks get to dictate what happens to me and I have no choice but to take whatever bullets they shoot.” I’m pissed. Silly me for thinking that it was going to be different this time. Maybe it will be at some point, but the current visual isn’t lending much hope.
To get the link to watch Keith Olberman's commentary on healthcare, "The Fight Against Death", click the "Associated Links" tab and look under "Politicians Don't Care About You."