June 28, 2012

Health care for the win!

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the health care system overhaul championed by President Obama and his administration.

The celebrations began immediately (flooding my bleeding-heart-liberal-inbox); so did the vitriol.

Look. I'm not a political blogger; I don't even play (or write) one on TV.

But I'm an American. I'm a mom. I'm a wife and a daughter and a sister and a friend. I'm also a gainfully employed contributor to our society who dreams of one day being a full-time writer.

And as someone who is all that and more, I have an opinion about this decision by SCOTUS. So I decided to take to my blog to share it.

And what I have to say is this: Bravo, Supreme Court. Bravo, Chief Justice Roberts who, maybe for the first time, flouted his main party line to make the right call.

Here's the thing.

In the past couple years, during which I've hit the full stride of my 30s head-on (ahem: next time I tell you I'm 29, please pretend to believe me), I've seen a lot of things happen.

  • I've seen a friend whose child was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of leukemia.  She immediately had to take to the social media networks to launch a fundraiser to cover medical bills that would soon be astronomical
  • I've seen the difference between decent and great medical insurance coverage.  When I became pregnant with my daughter, my doctor's office immediately set us up on a payment plan to cover the costs that would amass under our mediocre insurance. My best friend, under a state-run insurance plan thanks to her teacher-husband, payed exactly one $25 co-pay for each of her two pregnancies. Not a penny more. Ever.
  • I've seen my brother donate all the funds he makes as a tattoo artist to help cover an uninsured friend's medical bills after that friend required emergency abdominal surgery.
  • I've seen a writer who is, by my definition, "making it," take to the social media to raise funds to cover his own medical bills after a mental health crisis.
And dammit, I come from a fairly successful, non-poverty-stricken slice of our society. I shouldn't be seeing things like this!

I can't even begin to imagine how it would feel to face some of these situations in which people find themselves when they have no insurance, or minimal insurance. I can't even begin to imagine the helplessness, the sadness, the weight.

I'm incredibly lucky and I know it.

And I believe that this law, this overhaul of health care, will only lead to good things. More people will be insured; more people will have access to preventative care that will keep them healthy. And if I have to pay higher taxes to support this overhaul (and I don't know that I will...but IF), then SO BE IT. I believe in helping out other members of the human race. I don't believe in hoarding my own private supply of cash.

So there you have it. My opinion on this controversial topic.

And if you care to read some of the angrier (and entertaining) reactions to this ruling, I encourage you to check out Andrew Sullivan's live blog over at The Daily Beast. My personal favorite is the tweet which says "This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott." Because, you know, mandating health insurance is oh-so-obviously comparable to legalizing SLAVERY.

Whatever. There are some crazies out there. But today, I'm proud of our President. I'm proud of the Supreme Court. And I'm happy to be an American.

Just in time for July 4th next week, eh?

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