This headline in The New York Times got me going, especially the part about "leaving universal coverage off his list of core goals." So did the election results in Massachusetts.
Conventional wisdom says that a lot of people in this country don't have health insurance or are underinsured--because they've lost their jobs (a lot of people have been losing their jobs) or because they have pre-existing conditions, or because their health insurance doesn't cover the care that they need.
It sickens me. What are those numbers? More important, where are those people? Why do they not have a voice, a LOUD VOICE in this national conversation? How can we help give them a voice?
Right now, one side seems to be doing all the talking, with volume. The people most in need aren't getting heard on a national platform, which leads me to this sense of the surreal or the unreal.
I can accuse "the other side" of using emotions instead of facts, but I'm pretty damn emotional about this issue, too.
I feel very fortunate that I do have health care, because more and more of this entire process is making me feel like my blood pressure is shooting up. I don't think it really is. But it feels that way. It feels like my heart is in my throat.
And when I feel that way, my first desire is to stop feeling that way. To close my eyes, stick my head in the sand, and hope that it will all work itself out and go away.
That isn't happening. Instead, one or two people in our Congress get to decide the fate of us, the people.
What can we do? We can send money, but I'd rather send my money to Haiti, and I did. We can call our representatives and senators. We can try to find a way to give a voice to those people who most need health care that isn't tied to a job, a voice to people who are self-employed. I'm probably forgetting a lot of people here. Feel free to add them.
Could social media help? Could someone start a Facebook group for people who don't have insurance and see how quickly the group grew? It's just an idea. Has someone done this already--and if so, how do we shine a spotlight on it?
If you have other ideas, I'd love to hear them. I'd love for the whole country to hear them.
Thank you, so much, for listening. And feel free to forward this to anyone who might have a good idea.