It amazes me to listen to people argue that the Affordable Health Care act should be repealed and that they believed it was unconstitutional.  I don’t understand how people don’t get that in order to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in today’s terms, that means we must have affordable health care.

I get that in order to pay for a comprehensive health care plan, we (America) have got to be able to afford to do it. Again, while I get, providing for the common defense, I don’t get becoming the world’s police. Without being a member of the Congressional Budget Office, I intuitively believe that we can afford a comprehensive health plan if we back up on policing the world and better focus our efforts on domestic issues.

I think it is a good idea to make available a pool of money by requiring people to carry health insurance instead of them being treated for common or chronic illnesses in the emergency room. Insurance can then be affordable and more effective if the costs are lower because of the relative costs of doctor’s offices versus emergency rooms.  Many of the people who continue to oppose this matter, don’t have chronic illness and believe that they will end up having to pay for insurance and will never use it.  But like any insurance (homeowners, car, possibly even life), we find value in paying for “just in case”. Why wouldn’t we want to pay for “just in case there is an accident or illness”?  For those who find requiring Americans to carry health insurance an infringement on their freedom, perhaps we should go ahead, let them opt out. However make the penalty of opting out, an ability for emergency rooms and other medical professionals to “opt out” by refusing care–excuse physicians of their Hippocratic Oath, for this circumstance only.

These arguments against the Affordable Health Care Act are ones typically held by people with health insurance and who are healthy. I consider myself in that category—with health insurance and reasonably healthy. And although I am able to afford health insurance in today’s market, I wouldn’t want to deny anyone who was unable to afford health insurance as if it were a luxury and not what should be a civil right. I am keenly aware of the type of intense medical care diabetes, kidney disease, asthma and heart disease require. Trying to manage these conditions without health insurance would even shorten, if not end immediately, the life of a financially wealthy person.

So why would people oppose something that will be good for all of us, including the “least of these”?

The first answer is an easy one—selfish ignorance. Selfish: “I’ve got it and you should find a way to get it”. And ignorant because they don’t understand how they really live (as my father used to say) with one foot on the ground and the other foot firmly planted on a banana peel. It doesn’t take much for today’s insurance caps to be met and the onus for payment for medical care to be placed on the patient. A serious illness or accident could bankrupt a person.

The second answer is a sad reality responsible for more than opposition to Affordable Health Care, and that is deep seeded generational racism. Affordable Health Care is a policy created, promoted and passed by a black President of the United States along with people who recognize their own vulnerability as it relates to health care, and also care for people less fortunate than them. Even though Affordable Health Care benefits us all and there are ways to make choices so that the policy doesn’t bankrupt the country as some would suggest, they still oppose not just the idea, but the President. Rather than support the President, they would allow their young adult children looking for their first job out of college to suffer a gap in health insurance. They would rather their loved ones with chronic illness be denied health care coverage, rather than admit that what this black president has lead our country to do, protects their life and liberty.

I don’t suspect that people who question the President’s birth certificate, his policies and his patriotism would call themselves racist. They wouldn’t call themselves racist because the people they call racist were their grandparents and parents. They openly disagreed with a black person because of the color of his skin. What is happening now, I liken to Pavlov’s Dogs. The Russian psychologist, Pavlov is responsible for the study of classical conditioning whereby a conditioned stimulus would elicit an unconditioned response. Pavlov was able to evoke salivation from dogs simply by ringing a bell, after conditioning them to expect food after hearing the bell ring.

People who oppose the Affordable Health Care Act react much like the dogs. Unlike generations before them, they have been conditioned and don’t even make the connection that the reason they oppose the act is because the President is black, but instead give an unconditioned response (like the dogs) and oppose the policies because they have been conditioned that if the policy was lead by a black man, it cannot be right.

It appears that sounder minds have prevailed thus far, however I would encourage anyone who opposes affordable health care insurance for most (not even all) Americans, would search their souls and find that this argument is not “Zero Sum”. In other words, giving someone else a benefit does not take from your pot of benefits.

 

 

 

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