Friday, March 19, 2010

Health Care Reform

Last Easter I reported here and in the newspaper how when I stopped at Aldis to buy some last minute items for our holiday dinner, I was shouted down because I attempted to allow a handicap man slip in front of me in line. I can't tell you how incensed I was then, and now. It just really blew my mind that people could be that heartless. More so, it bothered me because it was Good Friday. I had to wonder if these people would celebrate their Christianity two days later, and how could they.

The day before yesterday I saw something even more sickening. I was watching Countdown with Keith Olberman. Lawrence O'Donald subbed for Olberman because of the death of Olberman's father. My sympathies to the Olberman family. Anyway, O'Donald showed a clip of a Tea Party protest. A man moved as close to the protesters as he dared. He sat down in the street and held up a sign reading 'I have Parkinson Disease.' He was quickly assaulted by protesters, all men, demanding to know if they were to be expected to pay for the old man's medical expenses. These men took dollar bills out of their pockets and threw them at the old man. "Here, I'll pay for you." They laughed and threw more. It was a frickin' joke.

I didn't find it funny. Especially since my Mom died of Parkinson disease. It is a particularly ugly death. Along the same lines as Alzheimer, it affects the brain. It begins with a small shake in the hand, and deteriorates to the point where the victims have no control over their muscles. Most die of strangulation because they can no longer swallow. Along the way, most victims succumb to either Alzheimer or dementia. My Mom had the most horrible hallucinations at the end. They terrified her. No matter how hard we tried to assure her she was safe, she didn't believe us. She cried horribly thinking that she was caught in the middle of a fire, or that the woman in the bed next to her would kill her. When she finally passed, it was a thankful weight off our shoulders. She went to be with God. I knew she wouldn't suffer anymore.

Then there's this old man, sitting in the street, while these people protested health care reform. They laughed at him and threw money at him as if he were a bum. Not only did they wish to take away any help he might receive from a health care system that works for everyone, but they took away his dignity as well.

What makes me more angry than anything is the idea some of these people believe that those of us without insurance want a handout. I've worked all my life. I've provided for me and my family. The first time I ever had to ask for help was the most humiliating moment of my life. Most of us feel this way. Most of us have the pride of being able to support ourselves. That is until recently. It is getting harder and harder to make living. We are working harder and harder, if we can find work at all. And yet there are still people out there who think that there are enough jobs and all we have to do is get off our sofas and go look. I'm sorry, it hasn't worked that way in a long time. The very people who complain the most about people living off the government are the same people who caused the crash or sent our jobs overseas.

What I find saddest is that the men who taunted the old man will find out why we need health care reform. At least one of them will go bankrupt or will know someone who will go bankrupt because of a broken healthcare system.

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