Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Annual Civics Lesson

I love Election Day - I have since I was little and my mother worked for a member of Congress (he holds a higher office today...and is from Delaware...).  When I was in high school, the 1988 Presidential Election was held, and my Social Studies class held a mock debate between the candidates, Vice President George H.W. Bush and Governor Michael Dukakis.

I was 15.  So of course, I had to be sophomoric.  I was on Team Dukakis, and I made fake eyebrows for everyone on the team to wear.  Mrs. McKinley, my teacher, was not amused.  Then again, little seemed to amuse her.  She was a dedicated educator.  When I look back at the teachers I had in high school, I don't have any "good" stories about her (beyond this one, which isn't much of a story) but I do think of her as the one I learned the most from.  And really, that was the point, wasn't it?  Anyway, I made my teammates wear these.  They were made of a piece of paper about 1 inch high by about 5 inches long, and to the "front" I glues small pieces of black yarn to create a unibrow.

God, I was so funny.  I turned the Debate into a Marx Brothers event.

Anyway, I love being a part of an Electorate.  I took Drew with me last year, and he asked if he could go again tomorrow to see me vote.  Tucker also wants to go, but he has preschool in the morning, so I told him that he can go with me next year when I vote.  I hope I am able to show them how important it is to make informed and education choices, and to participate in the government.

And that leads back to the government shutdown a month ago.  A good friend, a long term friend, has asked me if the Affordable Care Act is the best way.  She's a doctor, and knows FAR more about the business side of health than I do.  I know that I need to know to advocate for Connor, but I don't know the breadth and depth of health care.

I don't think the the Affordable Care Act is the best way.  I do think it's better than nothing.  I do think that everyone deserves to have coverage.  I do not think that companies should be permitted to reduce everyone's status to part-time to avoid the financial costs of health care, but that's my liberal showing.  I know it.  I'm ready for your commentary.

When it comes to the shutdown, though, I do think that the current members of Congress are wasting valuable time and energy trying to force their will over something already encoded in LAW.  Sure, they may not have been voting members when the Affordable Care Act passed from Bill to Law, but surely any person of reason can see that the electoral equivalent of holding your breath to get your way is childish and ineffective.  The more appropriate, and certain more lawful, way to handle this would be to methodically chip away at the encoded law with updated versions.  Change this.  Move that.  REMOVE ALL THE FAT.  I may be a liberal, but a 1000+ page bill might be going too far.  No, wait, it's beyond too far.  It's farce.

I want people to be able to get care, and I want them to be able to get it without negatively impacting the costs for everyone else (aka, uninsured people's emergency visits).  And I want that care to not be restricted.  If a woman needs certain types of care in her child-bearing years, so be it.  Cover it.  We are humans, which means we are all different, and have different needs, and placing us in boxes is ridiculous and demeans any dignity we may have.  We are also an enormous population.  You can point to other countries with nationalized health care, but have you compared their populations?

UK.  Canada.  Brazil.  Rwanda.  Thailand.  South Korea.  Moldova.  Kuwait.  Chile.  China.

We are larger in population than many of these, and are First World where many of them are emerging economies or, in the case of Rwanda, still Third World.

Basically, I don't have the answer.  But last night, hearing that one of the candidates for Governor of Virginia was pinning his election on the government shutdown and reversing Obamacare.  REALLY?  I stopped what I was doing and put my head in my hands.  It was your party, asshat, who shut down the government to bully the rest of the government to reverse a law.  Not a perfect law.  But it's a law. It went on down to Capitol Hill, went to Committee, went to a vote, went to the Senate and started all over again, then stood in line to BE A LAW SOMEDAY.

So.  I hope you voted today.  And let's get fixing.

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