Okay, so this evening, when most working people were available, the Democrats spoke eloquently on the secret Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
I tuned in, accidentally, on Facebook, when my newest heroine, Sen. Kamala Harris was speaking. She was followed by several others, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders. They all, following protocol, addressed the President, who was nowhere to be seen. Hearts and likes adorned the screen. But the number of people actually watching at a given moment never hit 8,000. Only one million people total saw bits of tonight's efforts to talk about real people - potentially over 20 million Americans - who might lose access to Medicare/Medicaid.
At the time, I thought Obama overly ambitious when he launched the ACA... As a Canadian, I watched each province wrestle with the issue and eventually manage it in their own way. No matter that Bernie points to the norther neighbors as a guide, the truth is that some provinces fare much better in Canada than others. Quebec's healthcare system is notoriously terrible. Ontario's is laudably wonderful - and it's free. No resident in Ontario pays an additional fee to have access. But we do have to pay for meds.
I do believe that health care is a universal right and trying to understand those who don't believe that gives me headaches. I've met too many miserable Americans who stay working at jobs they hate for fear of losing their health care. Because if they get sick, the hospitals will take their homes... The American dream is apparently a nightmare.
Fifty eight countries offer their citizens universal health care. Most, if not all of the rest offer reasonably priced highly subsidized healthcare. Of the 196 countries (including Taiwan) in the world, only one (the same singular non-signatory to the Paris Climate Change Accord, but that's a topic for another day)... ONLY the USA will bleed a sick person's bank family accounts and estate if their insurance is inadequate. People work hard to become homeowners, then the threat of potential future illness becomes an additional cost to that ownership. It's no wonder the country is overly medicated.
I've never understood the American attitude that universal health insurance is an evil, socialist (read "bad") invention. But then, this country has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of its citizens for many, many decades.
I understand that the busy-ness of life thwarts constant engagement, but these days when everyone shouts "fake news!" when they don't like what they hear, I was truly disappointed at the poor turnout to tonight's discussion on a healthcare bill that is being scribbled in secret and will affect tens of millions of people.
Part of the reason healthcare is so expensive in the US is because of this country's litigious norms. While other developed countries offer legal recourse for serious medical malpractice, lawsuits here are a common past-time. If you think about it, health insurance fees actually support the doctors' and hospital's malpractice insurance.
Much more to say about the subject, but for the moment just commenting on the paltry engagement.