Here follows a hopefully rare but sizzling post on the things that start out as important issues, get pushed up to the level of political debate, then filter back down to the masses. Imagine Americans sewing together a beautiful quilt and sending it to the wood chipper that is Congress, just to have shreds of fabric and thread and spewed back at us.
Today’s topic: healthcare. Before you take a large inhale to begin spewing the talking points that both sides have lined up, think about this: a massive number of Americans are uninsured. They have zero access to doctors, medicine, clinics, or preventative care. It’s like they are packed onto a barge and shipped out into the middle of the ocean: best of luck, don’t drink the seawater! The Affordable Care Act, now called Obamacare, aims to help some of those un- and under-insured Americans. Here’s where it gets tricky. How to do this? Like every manmade thing ever, the Affordable Care Act is flawed. It’s what we do as humans—come up with imperfect solutions because we have imperfect minds. But this law was passed by Congress, was confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court, and is enacted and about to go into effect.
Ready for what comes next? Some of our elected officials (who are public servants, mind you) are on a crusade to obstruct this law. Their own constituents, who they are sworn to protect and serve, are calling their offices asking for help. These politicians are proudly refusing help and redirecting them to other government agencies in a telephonic goose chase.
What makes my blood boil is how these congressmen and women are boasting about how their only goal is to repeal this law. Their own constituents, red-blooded Americans, are about to get health coverage for possibly the first time in their lives and their elected representatives in Washington are getting foundation daubed on their faces so they can go on TV to say how they are going to fight until their last breath. That boy with cancer whose parents have gone broke trying to pay out of pocket, he is knocking on the Congressman’s door with a weak and shaking hand and is being turned away. “Sorry, I don’t personally believe in our President so I’m not going to do my job.”
What happened to representing ALL of your constituents? Your job is not to put personal animus and ignorance ahead of the needs of your people, those people whose hands you shook on the campaign trail, those people you looked into the eye and said, “I will fight for YOU in Washington!”, those people who just want to go to the doctor and get some medicine. Many of our politicians have forgotten that they are supposed to be a conduit for the voice of the people, not the voice itself.
My only wish for the fate of these politicians is that when they are voted out of office and live out the balance of their lives in obscurity, that they are represented by politicians just as self-serving and obtuse as they. As our old politicians wheeze out their last breaths in this world, they will taste the bitterness of knowing they spent their lives becoming what they vowed to fight; that they never did what they should, only what they wanted; that they shamed the fundamental tenets of American democracy to be a government FOR the people; that they personally sent fellow Americans to the grave to gain political points. Congratulations, Congress, it’s your most sickening hour.