There are many issues I care about in the upcoming election. I care about the economy, health, women’s rights, foreign policy, and so many other topics, but I will try to contain my opinions and focus on healthcare here.
Last night I was watching an interesting show that did a small biography of Barak Obama and of Mitt Romney. It covered their childhoods, educations, marriages, entrances into politics, etc. I was half watching while I played backgammon on my phone (so addicting!) and then something caught my complete attention: there was a clip of Ann Romney, Mitt’s wife, talking about how scared she was when she first got “sick.” She talked about being so fatigued that she couldn’t get out of bed. One of her sons talked about how difficult it was. She was then diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Around this time, Mitt was thinking about heading out to Salt Lake City to take over the Olympics. Apparently he offered not to do it, so they could stay home in Massachusetts near her doctors, but she insisted that he do it.
I was furious. This man has vowed not only to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he is elected, but to make it his top priority. I understand that he wants government to be smaller (though really, if everything is handed off to the states, then what’s the point of keeping the states united?) but has he thought at all about the individuals who are affected?
I want to talk to Mitt Romney and get him to really consider how different his life could have been. What would have happened if they didn’t come from wealth? What if they didn’t have many many millions in the bank? What if Mitt had to quit his job to stay home and take care of his ill wife when she couldn’t get out of bed? What if that meant they had no income? What if they had no health insurance? How would she have been diagnosed? What if they had no savings, and had to rack up medical bills to pay for her testing? What if they couldn’t afford treatments? Instead of deciding whether or not to organize the Olympics, Mitt could have had to quit his job and drain their savings to take care of Ann, with no money to pay for treatments, no idea when he might be able to return to work, and certainly no therapeutic horseback riding for her. That’s what could have, and likely would have, happened to Mitt and Ann if they had not had millions. So what does he expect everyone else, everyone without a fortune in the bank, to do? As far as I can tell, he hasn’t given it any thought. I wish he’d prove me wrong.
So far, his answer is simple: it’s not his problem. Sick people should get help from their states, but the federal government won’t force the states to help, so people might just be shit out of luck.
I am incredibly lucky. I am lucky because I live in a state where I am eligible for medicaid. I happen to live in the state where Mitt Romney implemented a requirement that everyone have health insurance. I live in a state where I can get at least a part of the help that I need. Too bad Mitt Romney doesn’t realize that people outside of Massachusetts need the same services just as much, and that this unequal system is not in any way good for the country. If only he could understand how the rest of the country lives.