I ride the bus. Ya'll know this. What you might not know is that many of the other folks with whom I ride the bus work for the federal government. They ride the bus because the feds subsidize their monthly passes, which is awesome. However, the furlough has changed the ridership this past week.
My morning bus used to be ridden by enough people so that every row of seats had one person in it. Not too crowded, but not a ghost town, either. Now I get on the bus and can have my choice of seats because there's only a small handful of others riding.
It seems the same on the return trip.
It sucks for the people who are off work because of the furlough. It does. But what sucks even more is that the political machinations that have led to this are viewed as nothing more than politics as usual anymore and that the fight is over something that shouldn't even be viewed, in my opinion, as anything other than one of those inalienable rights.
I don't put much stock into Obama's health care reform plan. It doesn't do enough. Well, other than to ensure that the private insurance companies have a whole host of new customers. Yes, there are elements of the plan I agree with - such as the portability portion and the discontinuation of the asinine notion that if you've been sick in the past and you change insurance companies that the new company doesn't have to cover you for that preexisting condition.
Call me a socialist, if you must, but it really seems to me that everyone should have equal access to health care and that it should not be viewed as a for-profit business. Whether I am living on the streets or I am a millionaire, shouldn't i have the same right to pursue life via receiving the healthcare that I need? At a basic level? If I have the means, should I be allowed to pay for a higher level of health care? Experimental care? Sure. But at the base, if I am flat broke or rolling in green, I should be able to go to the doctor and receive treatment and not have to worry about paying for it.
Why is it that the good ol US of A, 'merica, is the only developed nation that doesn't offer true universal health coverage for its citizens? It seems that there are a few things that the government can assure in order ensure that the union is preserved and thrives into the next millenium. One is education - an educated populace ensures that the ideals of freedom and justice continue to prevail. The second is health - a healthy populace is more productive.
Yet the health care fight seems so transparently about people on both sides of the aisle who are not worried about the individuals that make up this country, but rather the corporations who more and more run it. If the insurance lobby was not so powerful do you thing that there would be the fight we are in right now? They stand to lose billions of dollars in future profits if this whole thing goes through. And their not going to absorb the loses, they'll trickle them down the stream to the providers. Capitalism is good in some arenas, but it just doesn't make sense in others. When the desires of business are put before the good of the individual the entire nation suffers.
Have we not learned anything from the past? Robber barons? The railroad monopolies? The meat packing industry? Oil? There are so many examples of the desires of the corporations outweighing the individual's needs and trampling the individual's inalienable rights that I find it reprehensible that we, as a nation, have decided to go back down that road.
I can't say that my arguments are perfectly formed here. I have not presented evidence to support my claims. Hell, like everyone else in this country, I haven't read the healthcare reform act. We know that building an argument on pure emotion and circumspection is a recipe for disaster. And I'm not the one who can make a difference with an argument, but I do feel that there are some real obvious flaws with the debate that is taking place in our nation today and that, because of the noise everyone is bombarded with every second of every day that we are overlooking these flaws, the primary one being who is really driving the vitriol and the backlash against an act that, at it's base, benefits every American by making our populace just bit healthier, which should reap myriad rewards down the line - from a more productive work force to a reinvigorated economy.
And if you oppose the act because you're worried about your taxes getting raised to pay for some deadbeat's health insurance - fuck you. Your taxes are going to get raised regardless and you're an idiot if you think they aren't.
I'd rather pay to help an American live a better life than pay to send soldiers to go kill some stranger in a strange land.
That is all.