I have seen a number of people criticising the healthcare bill PPACA (or derisively known as ‘Obamacare’) and stipulating that they’re “moving to Canada” and that it’s “socialist”; I’ve even seen people go as far as to term it “communist”. Which just goes to show you how much these people even know about socialism or communism; or even Canada! The problem here is not the healthcare bill at all. And in fact, from my end, this bill is a lot of good, with a few iffy bits and then a couple bits that make me literally quake in my shoes.
I have to admit some amount of ignorance on my part in the beginning because I know bills of this kind are generally multi-faceted and complex structures and with this one in particular, I had no concrete knowledge of all it’s faces until now. All I had heard up to a point was the sheep bleating about being forced to buy healthcare insurance; which in my boat can’t be a bad thing considering how expensive I know medical care to be.
Once, on a business visit to the US, I had occasion to visit a critical care clinic to seek medical attention. I had to fork out in excess of US$300 for the visit and another hundred or so dollars for medication. That was one visit. I can’t stress this enough – one visit. And oh yes, this was at least 10 years ago. I could afford it then because the people I worked with understood that life is not cheap and I had enough money to pay for care.
Now that I am living in the country and working here, I am realising that kind of corporate intelligence isn’t very common in this country. I know that were it not for healthcare insurance, I would be fatally ill or even dead already. (Some conditions can escalate fatally if not treated – did you know that a simple urinary tract infection can climb into your kidneys and shut them down? Do you know what happens when your kidneys shut down?) So when I hear the President is proposing a bill that will ensure that everybody can afford and get healthcare insurance, that makes me happy.
Not so most other people who so despise the Democratic party members and the President himself that they would stand up and de-cry his efforts not on the basis of the efforts but on the basis of his face, name, race, parentage, birth … you name it. I liken this nonsense to me standing up and saying “Breakfast is an important meal” and you standing in front of me saying I am socialist and forcing people to eat breakfast. Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face!
What’s more, most of the naysayers already have health insurance, have possibly always had health insurance, and therefore have never known the difficulty in getting medical care without being covered by health insurance. To all the naysayers, I say this: shut up, read, comprehend, and then I’ll listen to you. Until then, I am tuning you out as so much white noise.
You want something to be worried about? Then worry about that bit of the bill that says that in 2015, doctor remuneration from the government will depend on quality of care and not quantity of patients. Now that bit is what has me worried. Although, 2015 is a long way off and there is many a debate on how this will be seen, implemented, etc., it still worries me.
Look … political ignorance is not a new concept to me. There’s plenty of it in Jamaica. Tons. As I am sure there is in every single country in the world. It’s not new and it’s not limited to the United States . But I have been living here for 4 years and debatably within the arms of one of the most political groups that exist and I am sick of the political ignorance. Everybody has something to say, and almost none of it makes any sense when it gets down to brass tacks. Really … I am disgusted by it. I really wish everyone could shut up for just a minute and think.