I don't write much about politics here. (Except this post, which is the one post of mine that I wish everyone would read because it's the one single post that I am entirely happy with. No really, it's way better than the rest of this blathering.) Mostly I try not to upset people and since I have pretty strong opinions and I understand that a lot of you probably do as well and they might not totally align with mine, it seems best to keep these things to myself and stick to embarrassing stories of my own stupidity.
But I need to talk about health care for a minute. Stop reading if you want.
President Bush has vetoed a bill that would extend health care coverage to children of families that are currently making too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy decent health coverage. His argument is that if we start giving health coverage to poor kids, everyone will want some. That this is a slippery slope toward government-run health care.
I am very nearly rendered speechless by this. I don't quite know where to begin. It absolutely blows my mind. The only thing that helps me begin to be able to wrap my mind around this is the knowledge that President Bush, as well as the members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who voted against the bill, have clearly never had to worry about paying for their health care.
I don't know if you have ever been without insurance or had really shitty insurance with a deductible so high and coverage so spotty that it only really helps you in the case of a catastrophic illness. I hope not. But I have and I cannot imagine what it is like to live like this when you have a family. Because when I get sick, I make very effort to walk it off. I can't afford for it to be something that requires a doctor visit, and with one notable exception, I've been able to get away with that. But if your kid has strep throat? Breaks a leg? God forbid, something much more serious? What do you do?
I had to go to an urgent care center after I moved here. I was, at the time, working a full-time job, but I worked for a very small business that couldn't afford to provide me with health insurance and I sure as hell could not afford to buy it for myself. Any policy I could have gotten would have had too high of a deductible to actually be helpful anyway. This urgent care visit cost me $350, plus prescriptions.
Now imagine that you have a kid like I was who has persistent ear infections and you're being charged over $350 a pop. But you think that parent is getting off cheap if you're the parent of a child with developmental delays who needs physical, occupational, and speech therapy plus pediatrician and specialists. Something's got to give - is it your mortgage? Food? Heat? Or your child's care?
Shame on you, President Bush. Shame on anyone who won't vote to override the veto. What a disgrace.