So I sit this morning watching the "news" and the " news" is not the " news" but an advertisement.
And the advertisement while not non - political is bipartisan and important.
It is a plea for congress not to further cut aid to hospitals. So I look online and review, again, what's going on and what's going on is federal cuts to not only hospitals but also to clinics which means some will close and people especially in poor or under serviced rural areas will suffer and some will most certainly die because of lack of preventive and maintenance care.
" Are you certain of that " suffer and die" thing?" you ask?
" Absolutely, " I answer. " People are already dying because they have no access to a doctor and have to rely on going to the hospital which by federal law has to treat you whether you can afford to pay or not."
" So what? " you say. " Isn't the hospital treating you ( for free yet) a good enough safety net?"
" Not at all, " I answer. " The thing is hospitals aren't required to make any effort to cure what is making you sick ( almost certainly will kill you earlier than your natural lifespan without continued treatment) and make you suffer meantime. Hospitals are only required to stabilize you. Of course they would suggest you go to the doctor you can't go to any more because congress has stopped funding the clinic where that doctor worked and you have no where else to go."
"Is it really that bad?" you ask.
" No, I answer, " It's worse. It's not just that someone comes in with a spike in high blood pressure and is given enough meds to stabilize him and sent home without a doctor to follow up and treat with inexpensive meds, but instead strokes out because his cure was temporary only and in the end only gets treated again when it spikes again at the hospital and winds up at another state hospital at public expense for the rest of his life in a vegetative state because continued untreated high blood pressure caused him to stroke out and spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state ). Everything at the hospital is just about the most expensive most inefficient way possible to deliver healthcare. The reason an aspirin can cost fifty dollars is because hospitals have to charge those who can pay that much just to keep their doors open."
"'Hospitals shouldn't do that to me. I shouldn't have to pay for those who can't pay" you interject."
" So you want the federal law changed and those people who go to the hospital who can't pay should be placed on the sidewalk outside and left to suffer and possibly die?" I shoot back. " All you have to do is deny poor people access to hospitals ( which don't even exist anywhere near many poverty stricken rural areas) just as the leaders you've elected are planning to deny care in what clinics do exist by stopping or denying funding."
I hear no answer to that. So I go on.
" You think requiring people, especially young healthy people, under Obamacare to have insurance was too expensive? You think republicans have been " kind" by dropping the requirement to have insurance? But think for a moment. When they do get sick, and have dropped insurance that burdensome Obama care insurance, where do they go? The hospital- the most expensive and inefficient way to deliver healthcare imaginable."
" But the federal government should not be involved in our healthcare in the first place because states can do better" you venture parroting a typical but largely irrelevant right wing mantra.
"You do realize," I try to explain to a mostly deaf ear which has turned a blind eye to what I'm about to explain, " that republicans tried to hide the enormity of the cost of the deficit created by the 'kindness' of the giant tax cut some of you got by passing costs to the states instead of the federal government so they could say, ' See, the federal deficit is not that great.' So you pay the cost in state taxes instead of federal taxes. But the truth is you pay all the same and you no more " save" than they are " kind."
" But my son is young and healthy and can't afford to pay for health insurance he doesn't need. " he responds respond repeating another republican mantra.
It's no use arguing that Obamacare insurance was subsidized based on income so it was in truth actually affordable for everyone so I just give some examples of statistics about how many young people have catastrophic illnesses or conditions and tell him how much it would cost and ask him if he has enough money if he sold everything to pay for it and when he says he doesn't I ask, " Why then should I ( and everybody else) pay for expensive hospital care because republicans your son at their urging ' gambled' with his health."
" The federal government shouldn't tell my son what to do with his own money" he adds stubbornly sticking to the republican mantra.
" But all the rest of us should pay for his hospital bill ( now more than ever expensive because the republican congress is cutting subsidies many hospitals and clinics?" I ask.
Without thinking of the irony they answer. " Of course, my son deserves to live. It is not his fault he got sick. I pay taxes but I find now I can't pay the entire cost of his care. I don't know anybody who could. I didn't realize how expensive healthcare was. He was young when he gambled and didn't buy insurance he could easily afford and I know now I also made a mistake when I went with his decision because I see now how much taking healthy people out of the insurance pool is going to raise my insurance. I love my son. He needs help because neither he nor I can pay since he decided to gamble and drop his insurance."
I could say poor people love their sons and daughters who get sick too - but I don't - that's just plain mean even if it's true. I could say it's his son's "fault" he " gambled" by refusing to buy insurance everybody ( even healthy people many of whom have already found out the hard way) needs. But I don't because it is republicans who are at fault because they removed the mandate and not only enabled but encouraged his son to gamble ( a gamble far too many have already lost).
I could remind him I heard heard him repeat the republican mantra that it is poor people's fault they are poor and ask why it isn't his fault he didn't insist out of an abundance of caution his apparently healthy son buy inexpensive insurance but I don't because what is the use of that?
So I watch cable news channels and all the talk is about a memo only a few people have seen which tells how bad a few men ( maybe some women - who knows it is a secret) in the FBI might have been and I think even if someone in the FBI actually did something wrong my thought is we all know full well the FBI as a whole is a good organization.
It is more than a kindness to say the FBI is a good organization - it is the truth. It is more than a kindness to say people who drop healthcare insurance just because they can and wind up costing all the rest of us when they lose their their bet are not evil evil - it is the truth.
Am I killing you with kindness by distracting you from the political blame game taking up our representatives' time by reminding you that no matter what everything will be the same unless... we focus on what's important.
And in all I've listened to on cable news in all the time I've spent typing this that which has any possible redeeming social value ( that's even worth thirty seconds of our time) is that thirty second ad reminding us what's important - people's health not their politics.