Many, many words have already been written on this subject, so I’ll keep this short. But I’m extraordinarily grateful that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last Thursday. In fact, I’m still amazed that we’ve reached this point in the health care debate—or rather, the health care wrangle.
I’m grateful because I have a complicated, pre-existing condition (great euphemism, that) and if it weren’t for Al’s health insurance through his employer, I’d be in deep, deep trouble. God-forbid he loses his job. I honestly don’t know how we would manage to cover all of the doctor’s visits, diagnostics and medications, let alone a hospitalization.
So now, at least, there’s hope that my health insurance coverage won’t always depend on his employment.
I’m also grateful that our two daughters will remain covered until they turn 26. It’s hard enough for someone fresh out of college to find a decent job, let alone a job with good health benefits. By the time Mindi, our oldest, turns 26, the rest of the ACA will be in place.
Unless, of course, Romney wins and the GOP succeeds in unravelling it.
This is not to say that the legislation is perfect. And I do understand and share deep concerns about our country’s debt, the opposition’s core concern. But to trash everything that’s been accomplished and start from scratch so that one party can claim victory over another would be an incredible waste of time and tax payer dollars, with absolutely no guarantee of a better outcome. We need to work with what is now law and make refinements as the many elements go into effect. We need to address any real problems based on actual experience, not hyped-up claims.
But there is so much misinformation passing for truth about this law, so much harsh, mean-spirited rhetoric, so much ends-justify-the-means politics undercutting our ability to solve serious problems in this country, that I’ve felt very discouraged as the election heats up.
Until last Thursday, when a conservative Supreme Court Justice joined his liberal colleagues and demonstrated what it means to make a decision based on principle.
So, can we please move on, now? Can we stop hurling invectives and actually have a civil discourse about how to get this country back on track? Can we put good minds together, especially when we disagree, to find creative solutions, rather than undercut each other in the race for power and control?
Maybe that’s asking too much. But if we don’t all work hard to find common ground, affordable health care for all Americans will be the least of our worries.
Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.