Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Up close and personal.

I cringe from political debate among my friends and family members. Chris will tell you about the gymnastics I do to avoid hot button topics at family gatherings (because it makes me uncomfortable to be around arguments AND because I get so disheartened realizing that people I love have views that I am, in some cases, sickened by). So I wasn't going to post anything on my blog 'cause I didn't want to ruffle any feathers.

But then I thought, literally thought, "WWJD?" and decided I really can't hide the light under a bushel.

I am so happy that we passed health care reform, and so proud of President Obama and the of those of any political persuasion who have entered into an open and logical debate with a willingness to look at the facts rather than relying on rhetoric and lies and a kneejerk partisan "no."

Do I think the bill is perfect? No. (But it's a great start.) Will I, in fact, eventually be a tiny bit worse off, if I go by this snippet from a NYTimes editorial?

"The legislation will impose an excise tax in 2018 designed to drive employers and their workers away from the highest-cost insurance policies, which typically provide generous benefits at little out-of-pocket cost to the workers. Health economists consider the excise tax a very strong cost-control measure, because if workers have to pay more of the cost themselves, they and their doctors are apt to think more carefully about whether a test or procedure is really needed."

Yep! I've got fabulous health care through my job right now. From the sounds of this I'll have to pay more in the future. But you know what?

Not everyone in America has great health care. Or any health care. We're something like the worst-off nation for our economic level in terms of the health care our citizens receive.

And a lot of people in this country, people I know, people I love, live in fear of a layoff because due to their preexisting condition, they will not be able to obtain health care otherwise. This is not political schma-schma-schma. This is personal f*&$ing experience.

Well, now they will.

So I am 100% willing to take that tradeoff. And if I am ever fortunate enough to be in the above-$250k ranks, I will continue to feel that the benefits to all are more than worth any personal inconvenience.

I don't talk about it a lot, but I consider myself a Christian. And though the WWJD movement of my teens was corny, sure, it can come in useful when you're looking ahead at two paths and trying to choose one. Looking at the health care debate, there was never any question WWJD.

This is a great, great thing. Thank you,  Mr. President, for refusing to let this one die.


Derek J said...

By "WWJD," I assume you mean "What Would Johnson Do," right?

You should speak up more often. And it's your responsibility as an articulate, intelligent, compassionate and eminently reasonable human being.

Karen said...

Lynn found a site about "knights" and "gardeners" - two different Christian worldviews. You and I would fall in the gardener category. I found reading it helpful to understand knights. I just wish people of both persuasions would watch opposing news shows in addition to their own "choirs". Liberals can be guilty of that, too. Book recommended to me that I just ordered: Jesus for President. He definitely would not win the Republican vote, and probably not the Democrats, either.

Laura said...

I guess, but I don't really think the liberal loudmouths have nearly the same volubility or influence that people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin do. (People whom I consider to be hatemongerers.) I mean, does anybody quote Keith Olbermann these days?

I've tried watching Fox News, but I can't take how blatantly it's skewed. I prefer to stick to media outlets that at least pretend to be nonpartisan.

Derek J said...

I avoid all the network "news," from FOX to MSNBC. I mean, it's not that I don't like/agree with Maddow, but I just don't LEARN anything from her or any of her colleagues.

Economist FTW!

Karen said...

My opinions are not changed by Beck, Palin, O'Reilly, etc. when I watch them (I admit I have to do this in very short doses, for blood pressure's sake) - but I gain understanding of where my relatives' arguments come from. This helps me prepare to speak to them if a ripe moment comes. It also helps me prepare to realize that since THEY are not watching or listening to other viewpoints, any debate I have with them is not going to go too far. And it's easier, mentally, for me to chill.

Laura said...

Very good point.

Jennie said...

I love that you used the phrase "political schma schma schma". Perfect.