Where Are Our Voices?
I am sooooo tired of the so-called “health care reform debate.” Debate? Really? There IS no debate – all there is is the unified, strident, and, I have to believe, paid-for voice of right wingers who seem to care only about themselves and their future progeny having to “pay the debt,” who have disrupted town hall meetings and gotten shamefully abundant media coverage for their bad behavior; a group of self-righteous, fake-noble politicians who, if given a truth serum, would have to confess that their first priority is the maintenance of that big insurance/pharmaceutical money pouring into their campaigns; the crowd of wimp-ass, I’m-too-scared-of-being-called-liberal, passive-aggressive pseudo-Democrats who don’t have the balls to follow Ted Kennedy’s example or stand by their president; and the comparatively restrained but, I hope, fiercely determined voices of the politicians like Chuck Schumer and our own senators Durbin and Burris who recognize the need for a “public plan” in any meaningful reform.
But where are we? The Republicans love to parade the poll numbers that seem to “prove” that the majority of Americans oppose the public plan idea. I don’t know about you, but no pollster has ever called me or any of my friends. Who are these people talking to? Are they even talking to anyone? Or could there be some connection between the Kaiser Family Foundation, who keeps generating some of these polls, and some big insurance company like…say, Kaiser Permanente, who has a plan about what the numbers should say?
It’s not just the poll numbers, though – if you look at any news coverage of town hall meetings or rallies or protests, it always seems like the anti-reform side is bigger, louder, and closer to the edge of violence than those of us who sit politely, sticking to the “high road.” They are haters – they spew venom about our president (HITLER?!? Seriously???), call us names, fuel the fires of alarmism with their death panels and mandatory abortions (I say bring THAT on!), while we, we are just tryin’ to spread the looove, man.
Yeah, I’m pissed. Last night, I wrote to the 14 senators who are “on the fence” about the public option. Last week, I wrote to Chris Dodd and Olympia Snowe. No, I am not one of their constituents, and I recognize that they probably won’t even see my letters, let alone be affected by them, but I’m going to keep on writing. I’m going to keep on telling the Democrats that I put up with eight years of Bush’s Republican Congress screwing every independent and Democrat just because they could – it’s OUR turn now, and I don’t give a flying f--k whether it’s “bipartisan” or not – I just want it done and done right so when it comes time for my liver transplant, I won’t have to choose between not having it at all or spending every day I have left paying for it. And don’t even get me started on the insane idea that if you have a body, you will now be FORCED to buy insurance for it. Right now I have a job that supplies the insurance, but should I ever not, good luck getting that “penalty” from ME!
I’m sick of it. Actually, I’m just sick. And I know that a lot of you are too. So we need to get off our sickly asses and start upping the dialog. Now, while the Congress is wrangling over the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, we need to be calling or e-mailing them every day to remind them that we don’t just need that legislation, but we need true reform – no, not reform, RE-CREATION – of our health care system in this country. It’s those of us living with HIV, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and any other chronic condition who will be most affected by whatever they end up doing and we must have a say in it.
Either that, or we must move to France.