Posted by: mesabimisadventures | August 24, 2009

Momma said there’d be days like this…

“This is the game.  You can’t win.  You can’t break even.  You can’t get out of the game.” – basic rules of thermodynamics (life as we know it)

Life was gloriously black and white when I was a child.  I was opinionated, headstrong and fiercely stubborn.  Absolutely no nuance, but then again, I was six years old.  It’s okay to be that way when you’re six years old.  At 31, if I don’t challenge every belief I have, I’m just being lazy or maybe afraid that this whole time, I’ve been (gasp!) wrong about some things.

When I was a little girl, my mom would occasionally read me the story “The Little Red Hen.”  Tears would well up in my eyes and I would look so brokenhearted that my mom still picks on me about it.  Here’s what she really enjoys: the little girl who bawled about the other animals not getting to eat because they hadn’t contributed has grown into a woman whose eyes will light up with fury when people start discussing social services programs.  Is it possible that children are naturally Democrats?  After all, we’re told over and over again as little kids that “sharing is caring.”  So instead of learning a lesson from the “The Little Red Hen” or “The Ant and the Grasshopper” about working hard and contributing to society, I instead chose to feel that the Hen and the Ant were just big selfish jerks (or Republicans as I thought in my 20s).    Now that I’ve busted my tail to become the Hen/Ant, I find myself getting angry at the other farm animals and the grasshoppers.  <stomps foot and pouts>

But it’s not really that simple, is it?  After all, there are many mitigating circumstances in life that prevent people from being able to put food on their table.  It’s not black/white, not I work hard/you don’t.  Some people lose their jobs due to no fault of their own.  Others are disabled in horrible accidents or life may simply be unfair to them from the beginning.  Shouldn’t I do my part as a fellow human to help those down on their luck?  If we are a “Christian Nation” to the extent that people want me to believe, then why aren’t people happier to be paying their taxes to help the humble and the meek?  Then again, in some cases, people have earned their “F” and I’ve earned my”A” so why should I give up some of my points so we can both have a “C”?

So much easier of a decision at 6-years-old.  Back then I would have gladly given up some of my points so we could both have “C’s.”  It would just seem fair.  But at 31?  I just don’t know…

Which all leads to health care reform.  I may be starting to lean more to the right as I get older, but the little girl in me still wants to look at my mom and ask tear-eyed why we aren’t giving all people affordable access to health care.  Affordable, let me repeat that.  On one hand, I’m insanely tired of paying taxes.  As a single, childfree woman, I’m paying more than my fair share of them.  On the other hand, I’ve seen people’s lives devastated more by the financing of their care than by the disease itself.  I’ve seen people have to declare bankruptcy because life was simply unfair.  One thing I do know with certainty, even at this age, is that certain Americans should probably stop calling themselves “Christians” and America a “Christian Nation” if they aren’t finding a way to provide health care, ahem, affordable health care, for all Americans.  Do you really want to be the Little Red Hen with health care?  Doling out treatments, medications and hope as if they were merely bread on the table? 

For some members of our society, universal health care may be the missing key that enables them to finally become contributors to our American bread bowl.

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Responses

  1. I think that the problem is, looking back at past performance, just about everything that the government gets involved in is mediocre at best, and a disaster at worst. Maybe we should start out with free healthcare for pets and see how they can handle that! I do agree with you though, most younger people start out left leaning but start tilting the other way as they get older. I started out young and idealistic, but after working for my paycheck and seeing others game the system (many of them relatives I might add) I am less forgiving. I do think one important thing to realize when giving to people in need is this – if I am giving for the right reason, it doesn’t matter if they are playing me or not. Why I give or not is on me, if they are using me it is on them. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have. 🙂

  2. Well, there’s an old saying, by François Guizot “Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.” This was uttered in the 19th century, when the philosophies of Democrats and Republicans were reversed from what we know today. I’d say it sums up you’re post quite well!

  3. You make a good point about some people who can’t put food on their table through no fault of their own. And if any of us (ie readers) find ourselves in that position, what would we want? If we had held to the “pull your own G__ D__ selves up by your own bootstraps” position previous to our personal disaster, would we want to be treated that way when we are the hungry one? Fortunately, most of us won’t fall into an economic pit in the future, but some of us will, THROUGH NO FAULT OF OUR OWN. But as my adult married son said to me in July, “If I didn’t have you guys, I’d be the same as the homeless people.” We certainly hope his situation is temporary. He works hard at changing it.

    When it comes to health care, things are different. Except for those people who, unfortunately, drop dead at age 45, and who have had no children (ie, had to pay for childbirth and well baby care), the REST of us will at some time, some how, encounter the necessity for medical care. 3 out of 5 in my family have had expensive illnesses and surgeries. The oldest (my husband) has had no problems.

    We need to consider that when we are young and healthy or just plain lucky, we still need to pitch money into the pot so that the sick ones get care, and so that there will be money in the pot for when it is our turn. The last year or so of an old person’s life often has medical care costs in the range of $12000 – $20000. More if there is a nursing home or extensive hospitalization.

    As for “affordable” health care. I don’t think so. Bad word in this debate. There is a huge, major shortage of doctors and nurse practitioners, for one thing. And if the end result of all the work of congress leaves all these insurances companies in place, there won’t be any savings from getting rid of the dozens of people in each clinic that have to process claims.

    I’ve had good insurance for years only because I’ve been fortunate to have married a man whose work includes good insurance. If he dies or the company goes belly up, then what? I’ve got too many medical issues to work enough to earn insurance, and too many preexisting conditions to get insurance.

    Access to medical care shouldn’t be a crap shoot.

  4. Wow! Excellent post!! Now that’s got me thinking… The comments so far have been fabulous; and absent of anything better to say, I’ll just sit back and let this one sink in.

  5. Children are idealists, adults are the results of idealism not applying to most situations. I agree there are a lot of unfortunate people out there in this world, but personally I don’t believe anyone has the right to healthcare. I do believe we need to reform the laws and practices of our healthcare system, but absolutely believe the government should have little or no involvement in the providing of insurance or medical care.

    You should never be given an incentive not to try and better your situation/life. Life is not fair and the hardest workers are not always rewarded, but we need to move back to a society of personal, professional, and community pride rather than a society believing it’s entitled to things just because someone else has it. We already have many programs in place so people don’t have to choose between food, shelter or medical assistance.

    People these days are constantly learning lessons of humility as they apply for welfare, housing assistance, government grants, or the WIC program. However, many of them use those programs as a springboard to jump into a better life as is the intention of the programs. The government should only be a crutch for the people, not their legs.

    That’s just the two pennies of a slow farmboy from a neighboring red state 🙂


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