Jagged Little Pill


Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock…the House of Representatives passed historic health care reform on Sunday night, and President Obama is expected to sign the bill today. Within the next few weeks the Senate will pass changes to the bill through the reconciliation process, and we will join the rest of the First World in our commitment to providing health care to our citizens.

Here’s what Michael Moore had to say:

Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you.

Joking and sarcasm aside, he’s hit the nail on the head. With this reform, people don’t have to be afraid to get sick. I speak from experience; every change in the season that causes a sniffle or a tickle in my throat, a fever or a strange pain in my side, scares me to death. I, like so many people my age and in my situation, do not work enough hours at either of my two jobs to qualify for employer-provided insurance. I am too old to be covered on my parents’ respective health care plans, and I certainly don’t make enough money to pay for my own — that is, unless I’d prefer to go without food or have my car repossessed. Coverage for a 23-year-old woman is expensive, damn that pesky uterus and being of “child-rearing age”. For months I’ve been talking about trying to go full-time, or to find a job that will give me health care so I can actually afford to be ill — or, at least, to go to the doctor when I am.

Obviously there are political ramifications to this bill, which are being widely commented in the news. We won’t know until November if the Democrats will suffer for their “arrogance” or if Republicans will reap the rotted fruit of their hate-mongering. Throw it in Google, and happy reading. For me, though, this is so much more than playing politics.

I’m sick of listening to people who haven’t even looked at the bill, people who think that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are credible in the least. I have fielded hundreds of calls from these opponents to health care who are arguing the opposite of what is in the bill — okay, ladies and gentlemen, the bill does not provide federal funding for abortion. There is a provision to make prescription drugs more affordable for senior citizens. It will be illegal to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. The mandate to carry health insurance will be offset by subsidies to aid in purchasing that insurance. And before you tell me that it will further bankrupt us, think of the tax dollars we will be saving because we will no longer have to put out for ER visits by the uninsured among us.

It pisses me off when these same people claim that those without health insurance are “lazy” or “irresponsible”. I. Beg. To. Differ. I work two jobs, have an internship, and volunteer in two different positions for a non-profit organization. And, I’m applying to grad school. I guarantee there are others like me. So, those of you who cry “don’t tread on me”: you know what they say about people in glass houses…


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