I don’t think I ever owned a pair of slippers before, but this Christmas, I requested and received these. Nice, right? Damn, these are comfy, cozy, and all kinds of aaah.
With the country seemingly on the verge of implosion by capitalism-run-amok, and rising uncertainties about, well, everything, the little things are feeling very important. Small kindnesses, small comforts. And then, three days ago, even these ridiculous looking fluffs took on another meaning. Trump, PEOTUS, tweeted a thanks to Linda Bean for what appears to be a questionable donation, and of course, telling everyone to support LL Bean. ’cause that’s totally what the President should be doing, right? Good grief, is there no respite from this bullshit–even in the privacy of my home, in my goddamned pajamas? No, no there isn’t.
Which brings me to my point. This week, as promised, the GOP took their first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act. Oh yeah, they also began clearing the path for future cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Needless to say, I and many of my friends have been freaking out. No, this wasn’t a surprise to any of us. This is *exactly* what the GOP and Trump said they were going to do. That doesn’t make it any less horrific, terrifying, and downright immoral. And it isn’t just us, this “small” percentage (14%, last I saw) of families who have a child with medical needs. It’s everyone who has a preexisting condition, might ever develop cancer or other catastrophic illness, might have a serious accident, use birth control, or, yanno, would like to be able (legally and financially) to make decisions for our health–even if we’re women.
It’s true, I’ve seen a few posts and comments here and there from people who voted for Trump who are surprised and unhappy. Why yes, the ACA is the actual name for Obamacare, so you just voted to cut your own healthcare. You’d have known this if you read full articles and didn’t rely on memes and rally soundbites as the sole source of your information. Why yes, the Medicaid you were able to get because of Medicaid Expansion, part of the ACA. Why yes, your young adult child is able to stay on your health insurance until the age of 26 because of the ACA. Why yes, you were suddenly able to get health insurance you could afford despite preexisting conditions because of the ACA. Why yes, you/your child will continue to be insured and receive life-saving treatments that can carry a sticker price of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year because of the ACA–because yes, with the old “lifetime caps,” there were many who exhausted their lifetime benefits within 5-10 years of treatment. I would like a law that says people who voted for Trump and GOP lawmakers cannot identify as pro-life, they must identify as pro-birth, because they’re happy to watch all those babies die after they’re born.
Oh, I’m sorry, did you believe Trump and the GOP when they said they’d keep the parts you liked? I can only quote our PEOTUS, “Lies.” That shit was magical thinking, not a binding pledge. But many comments I’ve seen and heard from those on the opposite side of the political spectrum aren’t expressing surprise or outrage. Quite the opposite, they’re still celebrating, “the swamp is being drained.” Yes, and as it’s drained it’s being refilled with the raw sewage of unprecedented conflicts of interest, overt greed, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, possible treason, and plain old hatred of the less fortunate.
Most of the comments I’ve seen and heard are the ones that prompted this post. They’re the ones that say, “relax. Being upset doesn’t help. Wait and see, nothing has happened yet.” Oddly enough these are the comments I’ve heard the most because I’m hearing them from both sides. It’s true, being upset doesn’t actually solve anything. Very logical, thank you, Spock. Guess what? Neither does burying your head in the sand. I’m no political pundit, but I’m pretty sure that philosophy/methodology is what got us here. You know what else? As the parent of a child with medical needs, the wife of someone with preexisting conditions, I don’t get to step away from this or wait and see, because those medical needs are every. fucking. day. and things are indeed happening.
The ACA is certainly not perfect, and there are people who have been faced with premiums that are unsustainable long term. Seems to me logic would say fix it, don’t set that shit on fire. Our social contract is rapidly becoming a social disease.