HomeLifeAnd now, a political aside

All right. I’ve been trying and trying to think of something to talk about that would let me avoid politics, but to hell with it. I’m not going to get political on this blog often, if I can help it, but the shutdown pisses me off.

I don’t have to tell you that the health care plan originally proposed got gutted by health care companies through their lobbyists and congressional lickspittles. That was bad enough. But what survived the efforts at vivisection got passed into law and signed by the president. It has survived more than forty efforts to overturn it and a challenge that made it to the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land ruled it constitutional.

We here in the United States have three branches of government that are supposed to keep each other in check. The law that survived to become what we now call Obamacare got approved by all three branches of government. It is as legal as our system can make it.

And because this result is not what the GOP wants, they have chosen to throw a tantrum like a cranky two-year-old and hold the government until they turn blue. They want to strip this law of its funding. They want to undo it. They want to wish really hard and make it go away.

Well I want Obamacare. (In fact, I want the whole country to get health care as good as our esteemed representatives.) Do you know why?

I did contract work through most of the 90s. I had no health care and could not have afforded it. I got through that time intact, fortunately. Which meant that back in 2009 I had healthcare. Good thing. Because I had a completely random health failure! I had a cold and it hit my system just exactly wrong, mutating into a cardiac virus. The odds were about like getting hit by lightning, but it happened. But I got lucky. I had health care, an excellent primary care physician, and less than a week later I had one of the best cardiologists in the Bay Area.

If I had not had health care, I would probably have died.

And now, thanks to that random incident, I now require heart medicine twice a day for the rest of my life. I keep myself in good health, but I will forever be one of those evil patients with a dread preexisting condition.

All my medications are common and have cheap generics. They’re preventative. By taking them I reduce my risk of a second heart failure by more than a factor of ten. Because now that I’ve had a heart failure, I’m vastly more likely to have a second.

I can never again afford to go without health care. It might literally kill me.

So the GOP’s war on pubic healthcare drives me crazy.

Please, President Obama, don’t cave.

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About Stefon

Stefon earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from N.I.L.A., and his B.A. in Religious Studies (double emphasis in Ritual and Mythology) from U.C. Berkeley. To date Stefon has published more than a score of short pieces and more than fifteen books. Look for him online at http://www.stefonmears.com, StefonMearsAuthor on Facebook, on GooglePlus, or @stefonmears on Twitter.


And now, a political aside — 1 Comment

  1. Hey Stefon,

    I HEAR you. I had heart surgery last week, and honestly the amount of time and anxiety spent dealing with my insurance company and its 7 levels of bureaucracy eclipsed the worries I had about the actual dangers of the surgery itself.

    I can’t speculate about people I’ve never met, and I’ve never met most of the people in the country who count themselves as opponents to Obamacare. Even the people in my own life who are against the Affordable Care Act, I honestly can’t figure out what’s going on in their heads. A vicious skepticism about the efficacy of government is a contributing factor, but more than that it strikes me that, for the people I know (who are few, to be honest) there’s a certain sense of… I think they might call it fairness. They don’t want to work for something that others are given for free, without taking into account the lives that those other people are living.

    Obamacare is important for a lot of reasons, and while I share your frustration with it not being all it could be, the one thing it does well is support artists. Artists of all kinds–painters, poets, writers, sculptors–if they are lucky enough to be able to make a living through their art, will now be able to get health insurance that’s worth having. It’s larger than that. Artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds will no longer be punished for having a great idea and striking out on their own. We’ve built a country on creativity, innovation and hard work, and I really hope we don’t betray those roots by acquiescing to, as you so aptly put it, the tantrums of cranky two-year-olds.

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