the voices of the ill, speaking their own truth about their own situation are not to be heard in the debate on HCR…because…they wrote a letter to the President?
I was calm last night, but here I go wading in.
Pardon me. I should have realized that the great and most important framing of this health care debate was set to be certain to take actual first hand accounts right out the door if they don’t support a particular ideological position.
No, health care debate was the spark that lit what’s really important?
It became important to stare at the Teabaggers in disbelief.
It became important to jeer at the fearfulness of Conservadems and Republicans (and that’s fun, but missing the point.)
It became important to distance oneself from people’s suffering, if staring at that too long made anyone second guess their positions.
I’ll respect any ‘kill the bill’ position that comes from a person without access to care that is dealing with a chronic condition or illness. That says, “I’d rather risk going without longer than passing this bill. I’ve seen some. That argument, I get. I disagree with it, but I get it.
If you’re waiting for the chemo, the surgery, the long term disease management that you really need, and you agree with Kucinich and Moore, and other folks that are adamant against anything this flawed becoming law. You’re willing to risk the worsening of your impairment by kicking this beginning further down the road….I look across the divide and salute you. I disagree with that position, but I respect it.
However…I’d imagine there’s another subset out there.
Folks who want to kill the bill for progressive reasons… who are:
- Insured at the moment.
- Have not yet experienced serious health issues in a loved one or friend.
When I hear those voices, I think…”They don’t have all the story. They understand it intellectually, but not viscerally.”
It feels to me like men seeing no disconnect when they say they should have jurisdiction of women’s bodies. , or white people weighing in on people of color’s positions without much knowledge, or straights putting GLBT issues at the bottom of a stack. Or, my tribe, people with disabilities, being asked to wait for the most basic freedoms of all, because it was too hard to pass the Community Choice Act.
I’ll stop at the edge here, and not say what I wish that subset of people would do.
I’ll end this on a positive note.
Laurence O’Donnell, one of the inside the beltway experts on procedure that has been hammering away at why the system in Congress could make the present process disintegrate…up till now his own experiences with the last failure on this, and possibly ego, made him seem invested in killing the bill for what I see as a bizzare reason…a kind of “The bill has to die, because the one I worked on died, and here, let me show you how.”
I think Laurence had a bit of a wake up call last night on Countdown looking at the check that Michael Moore wrote, to help fund free clinics…
I think he understood that the debate has become unbalanced, and that more Natoma’s voices need to be heard as this comes down to the wire. That it should be more about personal stories than it has been.
God, I’m tired.
Not going to link back because if you want to get involved via fax, phone, blog, Facebook and Twitter all you have to do is Google it.
It’s one of the working persons with disabilities, a group I believe I stayed in for as long as I could..who says it best, so I am linking back to her story: Allie, you rock:
Every health insurance policy should be required to have to have a two
1. All benefits are subject to your ability to fight for them.
2. All benefits are subject to our ability to get away with denying them.
Please Mr. President, give disabled people a chance to remain as productive
as possible for as long as possible. Let us use our energy to stay employed
instead of fighting with health insurance companies. Stop the insurance
companies from denying care to the most vulnerable people
For those that don’t know, the top quote is Clint Eastwood’s request of persons with disabilities who were troubling him, quite some while ago.
I think those words are well suited to take a look at the tattered remnants of the healthcare debate:
Note: By “us” below, I don’t just mean persons with disabilities…but the far, far larger group of people diagnosed with /treated for inconveniently expensive illnesses in the next forty years.
The politicians want us to die.
The republicans want us to die so they can sleep better at night, knowing that fewer tax dollars are being spent on strangers.
The conservative democrats want us to die so they can move away from healthcare and get reelected. Because their constituents don’t need or want healthcare… (Some of them do, don’t they?)
Maybe we need a “Conservadem district Opt Out’ provision…
The White House IMO, was naieve about what it will take to fix things, so yes, they can be characterized as being an engine for the solution and part of the problem at the same time. (My head hurts. But it’s true.)
But most important of all…The lobbyists want us to die so their masters can make more money.
And given that corporations are now people (who, oddly enough can never get sick and need insurance–or, was that what the bailout was about…hmmm.) they will use their money to further mischaracterize reform…so that it doesn’t happen.
What little can be done:
Pass no pre existing condition, no caps reform in reconcilliation, if those things can be shown to affect the budget.
And lastly, by God:
Attempt to pass the Senate bill as is, and *force a filibuster.* Make the party of no stand for the death of your loved one by a preventable cause. Make them stand for pain and suffering. Make them the allies of bankruptcy. Make them part of the conspiracy to steal a working body, breath, mobility, strength, employment, peaceful sleep, even sanity itself.
On C – Span, where it will get quoted by (some) media (MSNBC, PBS, Democracy Now I’m looking at you!)
Where it will get Youtubed and go viral.
So, that if you are a casualty of not having insurance and/or access to lifesaving healthcare during the next forty years…
There will be a visual record of who to blame. Who gave up. Who let it end.
So I had to do some business downtown. That required the use of a paratransit bus to get down there since even the roomate and her van don’t work well downtown if you cannot park.
He was a joky fella, very good at the job.
And he didn’t have a problem letting me know which side of the healthcare debate he was on.
I thought, “He’s driving me around town. I’ll have to be diplomatic. Who knows what he could do…”
How many times do we with impairments have to *think* this thought about caregivers, assistants etc, damnit? We have to censor what we might normally say or do when we are, effectively, in the care custody and control of an unknown quantity?)
For starters we did agree that if one publically states they have (in their view) “moral” objections, then accepts a payoff to their state and drops their formerly “moral” objection, that made them dishonorable and perhaps unworthy of their office.
But it got harder and harder as details came out. His pride in attending town hall meetings. “I don’t want healthcare.” The certainty that the undocumented are here to aggrandize one particular denomination of Christianity. and more that I’m afraid to detail, but that I consider to be a dangerous worldview.
I’m afraid of this person now. And afraid for those they may come in contact with.
And, after trying to find common ground, trying to steer the conversation away from controversy with the explanation that, yes, government forces people to buy auto insurance (if they want to drive) all the time…. and that, in an ideal world, health reform asks the question, “Do you want to feel better (in place of “do you want to drive?”) and live longer?” You do? Ok, that’s why the law exists mandating the purchase…(It’s a mess of a bill, godknows but I was just working on getting the basics across…) Getting him to admit that paying a fine and going to the ER was going to cost more than even this patchwork we got…..
I said… regarding health care, “It’s a right!!!!!” “It’s a right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Being as healthy as one can, with appropriate care and follow up… isn’t just for the privileged few. It’s our right. I had to say it.
“My PCA/Roomate, riding along, said my name in grave concern…she wanted to get our errands done alive after all, so that was a nudge in the direction of discretion.
He, of course, views health care as a fancy handbag, or cufflinks, or lumber — a piece of goods, not a fundamental right…and on it went.
I then said, “Look, we know we aren’t going to agree on anything….It’s Christmas, so lets wrap this up.” We did, he dropped us off, and we each wished the other a good day…
Phew. That was close.
The best road, at this point. But I think I have the beginning of a handle on the choice we’ve been given. It’s called Hobson’s choice. And it’s beyond crazy that we’ve been given it by one guy. Not a Republican (Yet). Not the President. Not the head of Health and Human Services. Not a doctor. Not the Supreme Court. But it’s all come down to a single Senator. WTF country is this? The Monarchy ended here in the 18th century…or so I thought. But here are the choices.
1. Economic Rationing
2. Denial/rescission (Cancelling of Policies) for Pre – Existing Conditions
3. Crazed Premium Increases.
4. Not forced to buy coverage
5. Forced into free clinics or the ER even for primary care, driving up costs.
6. Lifetime coverage limitations
1. Rationing by Procedure (If you have cancer, we can’t drop coverage anymore but we can decide not to pay for chemo, which of course, to a terminally ill person is the same as remission.= Privately Run, for Profit “Unlikely to make it ” Panels)
2. Insane Premium Increases if you get older. (I can see it now. “Don’t Get Older! Avoid the Rate Hike! ” WTF is this, Logan’s Run?)
3. Insane Premium Increases if you get sicker. ) “We’ll deny the chemo *and* give you a rate hike! a Two-Fer!)
4. Annual Coverage Limits: “Say, can you hold off on that life saving transplant till January? Because you’ve *used up* your coverage by September…Thanks.”
5. You have to by this stuff that will rarely pay for stuff….because it’s the law, and if you don’t you’ll pay a fine… [The reason I have a problem with this: If I’m told by law I must carry health insurance, if I get cancer, I want chemo. No guarantee I’ll get it with the bill as it stands now.]
6. The actual good stuff. Young healthy people will have to buy into the system have preventative and primary care *outside of the ER* thus costing less to the system as a whole. And if everyone sees a primary care person more often, because they’re covered, fewer people will be dealing with long term illnesses.
But the ones who do….will be essentially uninsured….paying premiums all the while…that get higher, and higher and higher….
The only good answer that remains is reconciliation, but since that’s optional, not mandatory…there really is no good answer now.
Until the private insurance industry is wisely regulated in all 50 states, with limits on premiums, co-pays, deductibles and penalties for rescission or denial for pre existing conditions, and penalties for procedure, or coverage caps….
It cannot do the job. “The job” being: Coverage for US citizens because America finally proves it gives a damn about the health and quality of life of it’s citizens
Medicare for all (or at least for some more ) can, and is doable in reconciliation. It’s not creating a new bureaucracy, but building on an existing one.
Americans like Medicare. Especially the Teabaggers.
It’s the only road to go.
But I guess that road doesn’t go through Connecticut.