If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything

So people have been bugging me for weeks to do a post on health care. And since I am a benevolent dictator here at The Siren, your pleas have not fallen on deaf ears. But sometimes the dictator part cancels out the benevolent part. I resent the health care debate because —  as I keep saying to the idiots on TV even though they can’t hear me — there is no debate. We need health care, damn it! Every damn person needs health care! Honestly, if you don’t get that then maybe you are too stupid to live. So, I am highly annoyed with the health care debate happening right now and every time I have sat down to write about it I have gotten so irritated that I have just shelved it for a later date.

But I’m running out of time! Damn it!

I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise to any regular Siren readers where I fall on this issue. I’ve said before that I grew up poor and had limited access to health care as a kid. There were times that the only option was the emergency room and, that being too expensive, my mother would simply hope that Tussin and some sleep might do the trick. There were also times when my school nurse was the only health care I had.

So what the fuck are we waiting for, people?

Well, so far it looks like the bastards in DC are waiting for a miracle or benevolence from the real dictators in Big Insurance/Medicine to come down from the mountain and deliver affordable, reliable health care for all so that Big Government doesn’t have to lift a finger.

In the mean time, the unemployment rate is at a record high, which means that there are more uninsured Americans than we’ve had in a really long time. Now, not only has one or both breadwinners in a family lost their job, their probably losing their home because they can’t afford it and they definitely don’t have health insurance. People are out there RIGHT NOW just holding on to hope that they don’t get sick or get in some kind of accident or find out they have cancer because the medical bills from either as an uninsured person would bankrupt them in a heartbeat.

In the mean time, legislators are squandering unique opportunities to affect real change in America — by delivering a system overhaul on health care — to waste time talking about minutia or using old scare tactics to stall. Need an example? Abortion. The entire health care reform debate could be dead in the water because some legislators don’t want to vote for a plan that would pay for abortions. So once again, conservatives are scapegoating women’s health care in order to screw everyone in America.

Never mind that women’s health care is about MUCH MORE than abortions! Never mind that women, being 51 percent of the population, have a much greater impact on this country than just what is between their legs. Women work, they are part of families, they pay taxes, they get educated … wait a minute … it’s like women are PEOPLE! They’re not just walking uteruses who have no autonomy or no ability to think for themselves — unless they government comes along and takes that away.

And furthermore, the health care issues that women have also effect families. And isn’t that the whole deal behind the bullshit “family values” PR campaign that conservatives like to run and hide behind? Women need to have access to quality, affordable health care which can provide them the opportunity to do family planning, treat and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and also do things like preventative care and screenings for deadly illnesses (like cancer).

If you don’t allow women safe, quality, affordable health care one of the things you get is sky-rocketing unplanned pregnancies, which often increases the need for public assistance programs like welfare, food stamps, WIC, housing and so on. Guess what? That effects everyone! So if you’re really for family values, then maybe you might help women in their planning of their own families by offering quality health care!

But that’s just one way that Congress can fuck up the health care debate. Let me pick another out of the hat. New bogey man: Immigrants! Scary! Well, why would we want to provide health care for people who may or may not be in this country legally? For starters, it’s the right thing to do. Are we really going to become a country that asks to see your papers if you land in the emergency room with  a heart attack? Whether or not someone is in America legally shouldn’t have anything to do with whether or not they are a human being. Sometimes human beings get sick. If it were you, you would be praying that someone has compassion on you and allows you access to the health care system so you could get better.

So, the fact is, there are a lot of ways that people seem to be doing their damn best to fuck us all over right now. What you keep forgetting, people, is that the system is already really good at fucking us over. It’s time for that to end. It’s time for a better way.

I realize I didn’t do the usual blogger thing and put a bunch of links in this post (if I get a chance, I’ll add some later).  I’m running late, so this will have to do for now:

  • NOW’s action link in support of a single-payer system
  • MoveOn’s link for small business owners in favor of a health care system over-haul
  • You can share your health care story on Care2’s petition that will be delivered to members of Congress
  • Planned Parenthood’s action link to keep comprehensive reproductive care in the health care reform bill

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