Fixing the Broken
Great post about the GOP, Religious Right, and healthcare by my colleague at innocencejaded.wordpress.com:
“I’ve already posted a few opinions about the current healthcare debate, and I have already expressed my concerns with the opposition it has seen. In short, I’m for it, regardless of my religious stance. Hilariously, it is widely opposed by the Christian right, and I have also mentioned my frustrations regarding that hypocritical stance.
Today, I write on a much more personal level.
Here are the facts:
This past week, my one-year-old son became ill. He had a fever over 102, and his sinuses were stuffed up. Tuesday night, he was also vomiting. We took him to the doctor Wednesday morning, and he was diagnosed with and ear infection and also a sinus infection. It is believed his vomiting was due to pain and discomfort, combined with the fever. The antibiotics he was prescribed did nothing to alleviate the fever or his illness, and the last two days we have spent holding him for hours on end while he cried. Luckily, he was prescribed a stronger antibiotic, and today appears to be on the mend, fever nearly broken, and we have a happy baby again.
I work as a public servant; a local emergency services job. While my pay is sufficient to support our family, it is meager nonetheless. We cannot afford routine doctor visits, medications, or emergency care for my wife and son. We simply don’t have the money.
While I am provided with health insurance through the local government, my family is not supported. To add them to my plan would cost nearly $500 dollars a month. Perhaps affordable to some, this is not something I can afford to pay. Were I allowed, I would give up my insurance in a heartbeat to cover my wife or son instead. Unfortunately, this is not an option. My wife and child remain uninsured, and I remain terrified that something could happen that we cannot afford.
My wife was let go from her previous job after her employer found out she was pregnant. I know, it sounds illegal, but we live in a “right to work” state. Here, it really doesn’t matter, you can get let go for whatever reason they want. Sound shifty? Sure it is. Regardless, it was a legal termination. After our son was born, we decided it was best if she stayed home to raise him. It was mainly her choice, and I stand by it. We have been criticized at times for this decision. Sure, she could work somewhere to supplement our income, but we so highly value her presence with our son at home that we cannot imagine it any other way. Because she stays at home with him, we can better teach him our values, and we can raise him to be open-minded and free-thinking. Sure, it makes it hard on our budget, but the value of him being at home with his mother in the early years is beyond measure.
My son is on state-funded health care. We simply cannot afford health care or insurance for him. I would love to, but it just isn’t possible. The only way we can make sure he gets the care he needs when he gets sick is to rely upon tax-funded assistance. My taxes pay for it. Your taxes pay for it. We’re lucky to have it.
And here is my soapbox:
Here’s the problem I have with the GOP, the Tea Party, and the Conservative Right in general: they don’t get it. They’ve lost touch with reality. I am lucky enough to have a job. I know how precious that really is. However, even with that job, we can’t afford to make sure our son is taken care of. Was this our plan? Absolutely not. When we planned this child we had two incomes, a balanced budget that took insurance and other necessities into account, and we were comfortable. What else was I supposed to do?
I keep hearing this rhetoric, day after day. Telling the jobless to get a job. Telling the malcontent and the restless to suck it up and work harder. What’s the point? Can somebody tell me? What’s the purpose in all this? Does it make you sleep better at night, knowing that you told off someone less fortunate?
With all the things that we don’t have, we get by. Thanks to tax-payer funded assistance, our son got to see a doctor, and he got the medicine he needed to get better. Thanks to tax-payers, he didn’t cry himself to sleep last night, because he was feeling well enough to sleep fitfully. We don’t have a lot of things, but we do ok. I pains me, however, to know that there are millions out there less fortunate than I.
Nearly 50 million Americans support families on half of what I make a year or less. Or rather, they try to support their families. They have to rely much heavier on assistance than we do.
And how do we treat them? Do we look upon them with pity? Do we empty our pockets, open our doors, and share our plates? No. Instead, all I continue to hear is the rhetoric from the right.
“Get a job, hippy.”
“Take a bath.”
“You’re lazy. Quit asking for handouts.”
You know what pisses me off? This is what’s coming from the mouths of the groups that consider themselves moral. They stand there, preaching about the sins of mankind, rallying their followers to the most moral candidate. Yet, all I hear from this “moral” group is disdain for the poor.
I hear it all the time from the pulpit: “This is a Christian nation. This nation was founded under God, and in God we trust.”
If you really want to convince me that the GOP is the moral right, if you really want to convince me that you’re a candidate endorsed by God, you have to do better than that. If you really want to tell me that this is a Christian nation, then why are there still poor on the street? If this is “One Nation Under God,” then why are our children going hungry? If it’s really “In God We Trust,” then why aren’t we shelling money out to get these people some health care?
I’m sick of being told I’m wrong. I’m sick of being told there is a better way to do things. I’m sick of being called immoral, or being called out for standing against whatever biblical interpretation on social norms there is this week. I’m sick of it.
If you want to rally around God and country, maybe you should start by making sure not only my son, but the sons and daughters of every damned citizen in this country gets the care they need. If you want to tell me you’re on the right side of things, perhaps it’s time we start showing some of the same compassion that Jesus told us to show.
It’s not fair that I have to worry about whether or not my son gets help. It’s not right that I have to pray every night that my wife doesn’t get sick, because I know we cannot afford to take her to the doctor. I shouldn’t have to live my life like this. Not in a nation that tells me it’s a nation built on faith. I’m tired of living in fear, and you know what? I’m one of the lucky ones!
Can you imagine, living every day not knowing whether or not you’re going to get to eat? Can you imagine going to bed hungry? Sound bad? Now picture millions of children. Little children. Helpless children, experiencing that very thing. Every. Single. Night.
You want to act like a Christian should? Call your senator and tell them to support affordable health care. You want to act like a man or woman of God? Start giving. Give a child hope for tomorrow. Give them a reason to smile.
Maybe it’s time we got off our collective asses and decided that we aren’t going to stand for this anymore. Maybe it’s time we took a stand against poverty. Against hunger. Against sickness. We have the tools to fix this! We can save millions of lives. We can make this good nation great. All you need is a change in perspective. Perhaps a reminder that when we feed, clothe, and shelter the least of us, we make us all better.”
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
― Stephen Colbert