Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sad State of the Health Care Debate

I am the uninsured. I have a job and pay taxes but my employer doesn't offer benefits. I have no access to health care except what I can afford to pay for out of pocket. And that ain't much.

When I can't get to sleep at night, I wonder if I have breast cancer or diabetes or some other treatable disease which could be detected if I could afford to get preventive medical care. But then I know too that even if something was detected, I could not afford to pay for treatment anyway. So I just lie in bed and hope for the best.

Meanwhile my Senator, Jim DeMint, participated in a "Prayercast" this week to ask Jesus to intervene and make sure I get no access to health care. Even if it's just a tiny shitty bit of health care reform, DeMint wants Jesus to stop me from getting it. Although I'm not a Christian, I do believe in many of the teachings attributed to Jesus and from what I understand, he was into helping the sick and the poor, not stomping them into the dirt. Maybe DeMint and friends are praying to some other Jesus - some guy whose fundamental message is "I've got mine, sucks being you", I don't know.

At any rate, the bottom line for me is this: The uninsured are dying every day due to lack of health care. We have no choice but to humbly accept any bone Congress tosses us because otherwise, you know - the death thing. So even though the Senate bill sounds pretty crummy and falls terribly short of expectations - yeah, I want that. Because it's something. And when you have nothing, something sounds pretty appealing. And I'm willing to work on future campaigns to try and elect people who pledge to improve health care for all Americans.

Don't get me wrong, I want the best we can possibly get right now. But whatever that turns out to be, I'm willing to take it because I have no other options. I know that if we don't get something now, it's going to be a long time before we have another chance. Too many of us will have needlessly died by then. We can't wait.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yesterday afternoon we had C-SPAN on while the clerk was reading the 767 page Sanders Amendment. C-SPAN puts up bits of info on the screen to keep viewers abreast of what's going on. At the time Billy came in, the onscreen info was flipping between two messages:

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the Sanders Amendment be read into the record.
Senator Coburn has left the building.

Billy, who doesn't normally get excited about political sausage making, saw that and exclaimed, "That man should be fired - immediately!".