Sunday, September 13, 2009

Am I a "Bleeding Liberal"?

I don't really think so. I've been accused of such here lately. I don't think that I am a bleeding liberal just because I believe that quality health care should be available to all Americans, not just fortunate Americans.

I'm not trying to be radical here. We are a blessed nation, but the gap between rich and poor is nauseating. I believe that we, as fortunate people, have the responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

The way things are is bad. It's very precarious. What if you lose your job, like thousands of others, and therefore your health insurance? So, you try to get more, but you can't afford it because you lost your job. Well, then, what if you break your leg? You're out at least  a grand for an emergency room visit. What if you get Cancer? You're screwed, you know?

I'm going to tell you a true story about one of my best friends. He was 22. Now, I honestly can't name a single 22 year old boy that has health insurance. You're kicked off your parents at 21, and most fellows aren't quite responsible enough, or well off enough, to buy insurance until at least 25. He woke up in the hospital one day. He had an aneurism, and thank God he lived, but he was saddled with HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars in debt. How is a 22 year old supposed to face the rest of life, and have any shot at succeeding, with that kind of debt?

We trust our government to educate our children. People, they could be teaching them anything in there, and you wouldn't know. But you trust them, for the most part. And if you don't trust them, that's fine. You can home school, or put them in a private school. But, and this is a big but...there are controls. Education is regulated so that no child, in theory, can grow up in the US without an education. (Those controls aren't failproof, and we all know that. Determined people can get around most anything.)    If we didn't have public schools and regulations, what would our education look like? Like Ancient Rome, where only the rich could go to school?  We would have a country full of ignorant poor folk, and arrogant, rich, self important people. Why can we not trust the same government to help with this health system fiasco? It is very similar. If you don't want to be part of wouldn't have to. You can keep your insurance. You're unharmed. Except that now your insurance can't drop you if you get sick. And now, there are all sorts of safeguards.

Why should anyone who lives here and contributes to society have to choose between food and important medicine? Did you know that every year, 700,000 people file bankruptcy  every year because of medical bills? In France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada, o people file bankrupt because of medical bills. The US has one of the worst infant mortality rates of all the industrialized nations...6.8 deaths per 1000 births. Sweden has 2.4.  So even though we pay out the nose, our care is worse. It's because it is so unregulated. The system is a big mess, and there isn't one cause, but it has to be fixed.

In a discussion, a friend told a story of how she was in a room with a big group of women and their children, and the children were filthy, and the mothers were trashy, and she was upset that she worked to pay taxes to help them. I totally understand that. I really do. It is frustrating. But, are we supposed to just let those kids fall through the cracks? Because if we don't help them, they will grow to be nothing more than an even bigger strain on the system. If there weren't insurance available to those mothers, those children would likely die at very young ages, due to lack of nutrition, immunizations and total lack of education on their mother's parts. So as annoying as it is to pay for those children, is  it better to just let those children suffer? I think, absolutely not. Absolutely not.

We all  pay taxes here. I guess at the bottom of it all is this...some people want a government that is as uninvolved as possible. I'm not that person. I think our government should exist to help us.

I voted for change. Maybe that in and of itself is enough to qualify me as a bleeding liberal.

Facebook buddies...if I could remember how to not have this blog entry forward to facebook, I would. I don't want to stir this issue anymore between you folks. But I wanted to get it all off my chest. Let's keep it clean in the comments.

One more thing. I've heard a lot of people say "Why does everyone care that someone shouted "You Lie" when people talked bad about Bush all the time?"  Let me break it down. People can say any fool thing about any fool person they like. We have that right. But when you sign on as a elected position that is revered and lose that right. Well, not even that. Congressmen can even say whatever they want for all I care. But they can't yell it out on a highly anticipated and publicized Joint Congress Session. There are rules to that sort of public life, and that was clearly against the rules. I don't care what he thinks about Obama. There is still a certain amount of respect that one must give the office of President. This is not the same as an Iraqi throwing a shoe at the President, even if that is a terrible insult in Iraqi culture. An Iraqi is not obligated to respect our President. A Congressman is.



Allison said...

Well Put Carmen!

I'm going to come to trivia at Buffalo's tonight to see you.

Heather said...

I love this! I'm going to throw up my "Amen". :)