The National Health Care Debate Makes Me Want to Shut Down
I am fortunate. Super fortunate. I have multiple options for health care coverage, partially funded by my employer, partially funded by me. My husband owns his own small business with exactly one employee. Him. He doesn’t offer himself much in the way of benefits. So, we are dependent on my employer. Good health insurance is one of the most valuable things I provide to my family as a working mom. Both of my kids have had health issues in their early years, and I could not be more aware of how important good insurance and access to great medical care is.
I am also a veteran of politics. I am in no way naive to the essentially inevitable course the debate has taken. Thought the debate over Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act – or whatever you choose to call it – was over when the bill was signed, or when the election was over? Think again. It may be a surprise to most Americans that we’ve come to the point of government shutdown, but make no mistake about it, most of your elected officials, and their staff, and their political advisers have been game-playing this scenario for months and months. Heck, 15 years ago when I was young, and had no kids, and thought life revolved around what went on under a golden dome, I would have been doing the same.
But today I’m a parent. I don’t gamble my life-savings on a bet of never getting sick, like I might have when I was 22. I don’t have patience for using the public as pawns in a political debate, especially one that quite frankly, like it or not, was already settled. News stories of veterans showing up after a week-long trip to DC only to find the war memorials closed, or of a cancer-stricken father shut off from treatment in an NIH study, once might have been measured in terms of political capital. Today I can only see them as repugnant. Why? I don’t need the Affordable Care Act in order to have health insurance. But I do have to do my job. And when I go to work and we have a debate, and the plan we decide is not the one I advocated for, I still do my best work to make that plan work. And we don’t hold our customers hostage while we work to come to agreement.
If our kids acted the way our politicians do, we’d be sending them to therapy for oppositional defiant disorder. So please, can we finally move on? If we don’t, this is one American whose interest in any political action is just going to shut down.