If you feel like I do, the ongoing health care debate has been confusing, wrenching and alienating. Such stress is, the docs tell us, bad for our health. So the debate itself is probably driving up health care demand as lawmakers seek to improve care for millions of us. Some kind of compromise appears to have been reached in the Senate, so maybe we are entering the home stretch. One can hope.
What are the sources of the stress? It’s disorienting to have so many of my fellow citizens talking about sacrificing my health so insurance companies can make more money. The immorality of those arguing against reform is so stark, so cruel, so blind, so downright stupid. This summer we were treated to the spectacle of thousands of suckers doing what the health insurance lobby told them to do. “Hey, get some teabags and go publicly protest improving the health of your family and your neighbors,” they were told. And that’s what they did, good little sheep that they are.
Few political issues carry the moral gravity of health care, which is why politicians would rather do anything than talk about the moral issues at stake. Instead, they talk about money. And not our money, but the money of an insurance industry that already makes so much from denying coverage and care that it can afford to spend millions a week protecting its goose and all its golden eggs.
While morally weighty, health care isssues are really not all that complex. They are complexified by the industry and the politicians on purpose, all the better to hide the simple fact that the powers that be in the wealthiest democracy on earth are intentionally denying care to millions of citizens. In the name of what? They’d rather not say, because the only answer is the insurance lobby that gives them millions of dollars — earned through the sacrifice of millions of lives — so they can be re-elected.
Adding to the stress is the fact that the issues involve everyone. It’s not an abstract argument. Our health is at stake. So, we watch the flood of pharmaceutical ads telling us how many diseases we might be suffering from when the system itself denies us the drugs being pitched to relieve the health issue and the anxieties caused by worrying about the health issue.
Listening to politicians talk about my health is like listening to burglars talk about what a cool T.V. I have. Joe Lieberman, the Senator from Aetna, has no moral right to condemn my life and the health of my family. Have you noticed that opponents of reform like Lieberman never talk about the human issues? It’s all about money. And they lie about that.
Today, the quickest way to improve our health will be to quite the inane arguments and pass a bill. I can’t take it any longer.