Well, I did my thing as a citizen today with fellow chorister, Linda K-M. I twittered a little while ago something about seeing so many morons in one place, but I meant no disrespect to the people who were shouting those stupid things. (OK sorry, I’ll behave now – I’m sure there’s a person on the other side of this issue saying the same things about me.) I felt, that after all the coverage of people at these town hall meetings on health care who are organizers from the Republican party and/or insurance companies screaming down anyone who doesn’t agree with them, that I should do my part to show that there is also a very strong group of people who support health care reform and the public/single payor option.
When I arrived there, the people on the other side of this issue were already getting personal, shouting at all of us, asking how many of us had jobs, etc. A few came over to our side and tried to start fights with individuals, but we held firm. When someone was particularly offensive, there was someone there to gently remind the offensive person’s target not to engage. Funny thing, once the offensive one realized the strategy wasn’t going to work, they moved on to someone else. And this happened over and over. And it continued not to work!
Here’s the way I look at healthcare: The bottom line is, we’re all paying for it, no matter what we do. What do I mean by that? Let’s say we have a person who is uninsured, for whatever reason – or really, even someone who’s underinsured or whose insurance company decides that they have a “pre-existing condition” or that they aren’t covered for whatever or the insurance company just says no, thinking that the poor slob can’t do anything about it anyway. That person is suffering. They haven’t been to the doctor because they cannot afford to, so they wait, hoping it will all go away. The infection will clear up (many do); the toothache will subside with enough ibuprofen (sometimes they do); that lump really is just a cyst. Sometimes the problem doesn’t go away. So what does a person do? They are at this point in crisis, in pain and desperate. They do the only thing left to them: they go to the emergency room. Now, because they didn’t get whatever it is they have treated earlier, it’s become a problem medically – they need surgery, chemotherapy, i.v. antibiotics, you name it. They get treatment because most hospitals cannot abandon patients. They hopefully get better. They go home.
They can’t pay the thousands of dollars their hospital stay costs.
So what happens? The hospital, and whoever else this person owes money to pursues collections, legal actions and may recover a fraction of this cost. Remember a cost that may have been a fraction of the initial cost had the sick person gotten treatment earlier.
So we are left with a patient with no money, a hospital with little money. Guess what happens? The hospital has to adjust their costs to cover the loss. Guess who pays this loss? You betcha!
Now, if we’re all going to pay for everyone’s medical care, doesn’t it make sense to do it in a more organized fashion? Instead of an insurance company making billions, let’s all put that money into a big pot and share.
Let people get the care they need WHEN they need it.
Let docs, not insurance companies, practice medicine.
I bet we’d save a LOT of money.
And a lot of lives.
Which is why the old folks in Canada and the UK are not scared of their health care plans.
Nor should ours be!
But then, God forbid we should be (GASP!) socialized!
Our signs were about healthcare and insurance reform. Theirs were some of the most offensive racist things I think I have ever seen. One sign was a picture of Obama in black and white with a mustache like Hitler’s, with the caption: “I’ve changed.” Another really disgusting one that seems to have been aimed at the African-Americans in our group (and I saw NONE in theirs, BTW), was of Obama in white face, with “Joker” makeup. There was even a truck with writing on the side, telling the President to return to his real country – I guess they must have meant the country of Hawaii. Apparently these morons don’t know that Hawaii became a US State in 1959. Either that or the “Birthers” are still going strong. I honestly don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a LONG time. I don’t think that’s the reaction they were looking for. Oh well. Tough.
The screaming was so revolting at one point that a large bunch of us started singing the national anthem quietly. It was truly awesome. I swear, these folks didn’t know with whom they were dealing. I think the reason we Americans picked a new President in November is that we are sick of that kind of crap. We are sick of the greed that seems to have run rampant over our health, our workers and our civil rights. Do they think we’ve forgotten already? They’d better think again!