Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care

(This post is in response to a thread of facebook comments following a status of mine which read: "Shannon Dickerson is happy about the health care bill--step in the right direction--but saddened as well. How can people think that giving up a small portion of their large incomes to help improve the lives of many others is a bad thing?"
Apparently, many people do.)

I just don't understand. Do you hear yourselves? "Because it isn't their money." You're right. I mean, if you're looking for me to factually disprove you, I can't. There is no debate strategy I can use to prove you wrong. The fact that you can say that with a straight face and mean it and not think that you are a self centered person who is in the moral wrong shows that there is nothing I nor anyone else can say to sway your position. We just see the world differently. You look at your business and say, 'oh, woe is me! The liberals are taking my money and building roads and schools and providing health care to the impoverished!' I look at you and say, 'wow, good for you. You have a business. Yes, you are very smart. And obviously hard-working. And fortunate. You can afford to help those who do not have their own businesses.' What you don't seem to comprehend is that the people this bill will provide health care for are also smart and hard-working. You're right, though; they are different from you. They are not fortunate. Are you so naive as to think that if you work hard and do all the right things that life will just work out for you? Do you honestly tell yourselves that those who can't afford a heart transplant don't deserve it? I'll tell you who one of those "slackers" are, Ryan. Me. Shannon Dickerson, MA, University of Colorado. That's right, that old slacker with a Master's Degree. Who got it while in more physical and emotional pain than you will likely ever endure, at least not in your youth. You know I only missed one class that semester I got sick. One. And it was because I had a bad reaction to the vicodin they prescribed me to ease some of my undiagnosed suffering. When I graduated, I got two jobs (soon to be three; I start training this weekend) and I have since taken off 1 day of work from my illness, but that was only when I got the flu on top of this disease. I was more worried about having a pre-existing condition on my medical record than I was about my comprehensive exams my last semester of school. Because when I graduated and lost my health care I knew that if I were branded with Lupus or Schleroderma or Rheumatoid Arthritis--diseases which can require thousands a month in prescription drugs--I would never be able to even get approved for private health insurance, even if I could afford it, which I couldn't. And can't. Even now working two jobs and living at home my father pays for my health insurance. Let me just recap this for you, since you're so quick to judge with your snide remarks and thoughtless comments. I had to wake up two hours early for work to have enough time to get myself ready in the morning, because my joints simply did not work. And I worked seven days a week at two different jobs. And I could not afford my own health care. In addition to this I lived in fear every day that when I finally did have an answer and knew what was wrong with me it would haunt me for the rest of my life because if I ever lost my coverage and couldn't find a good job with benefits, as many Americans cannot right now, I would not be able to afford to live. And you sit there with your big savings account and your relatively privileged life and your good fortune and good health and cast judgement on people you've never even met--and those you supposedly call friend!--and call them "slackers"!? Well, I seem to have talked myself into a circle because all there is to say is what I began with. There is nothing I can say to share my point of view with you. You don't want it. You don't want anything that doesn't directly benefit you. Excuse me for not holding a moment of silence for the lost dollar of the rich. Forgive me for giving a fuck about the needs of those outside of myself. And, for the love of god, have mercy on me for seeing this as anything more than a remake of Robin Hood. You do seem to be the one in a position to cast judgement; you're the one with the money, after all.

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