Why I'm a Dem. Part 2
Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple of days. I was in Atlanta getting treatment, my back and hips are killing me, and with the Iowa Caucasus and the State of the Union and the fact that The Bachelor has been on two nights this week, it’s been a lot.
I promised on Monday that I was going to spend a few blogs laying out the reasons why I support the Democratic party. My reasoning was that with all the polarization in our country, I might be the only flesh and blood out and open Democrat some of my social media friends know. And when talking politics we spend so much time defending or attacking individual people, we rarely talk about the things we actually believe.
They say all politics is local. Well nothing is more local to me than heath care. One of the main reasons I support the Democratic party is because is because they are the far superior option on health care.
Support for the ACA is at an all time high, but it still isn’t stopping the Trump administration from trying to over turn it. Despite the fact that it was voted through both houses of congress, upheld by the supreme court, and upheld again in an act of political bravery by the late John McCain. They’re trying to overturn through the court system as I write this. Which doesn’t make any sense politically. Republicans attempt to dismantle the law protecting those of us with pre-existing conditions is one of the main reasons Democrats took back the house in 2018.
So many times we forget the impact laws can have on our lives. The ACA has been a literal God send for me.
When my wife left in 2009, I lost more than my spouse. I lost my health insurance. I could have gotten it through my restaurant job, but I always thought I would be quitting any second so never bothered to sign up. A year turned into two. Two turned into three. Next thing you know I went four years without health insurance. Luckily every thing was fine.
In 2013 I moved to Charleston to teach for a semester. I was an adjunct professor. Being an adjunct professor is the lowest run of the academic world. You teach on a semester by semester basis and with no security or benefits.
Until, that is, the Affordable Care Act.
One of the great things the ACA did was it forced organizations of a certain size to offer health insurance to all of their full time employees. Most adjunct professors were working full time hours, so thanks to the grace of the Democratic congress, I was offered health care.
Fast forward to 2016. Jaimie and I had moved to Atlanta. I had saved some money teaching and bartending, enough to take a few months off to focus on stand up and see if I could get some acting work together. My insurance at the college had ended when I left the school and I was faced with a choice- get a plan through the health care exchange, or take a few months and roll the dice without coverage,
There was a problem however. The law. The individual mandate, recently revoked by the Republican congress, made in illegal not to have health insurance. You had to pay a penalty. Because I believe in being a good citizen and following the law, I signed up and found a plan I could afford.
To say this saved my ass would be the understatement of my life. Having coverage kept me from going bankrupt, because six months after I signed up or coverage I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
And now that I have this diagnosis, the ACA is even more vital. It protects me from insurance companies overcharging me, it protects me from life time caps on how much they will pay, and it also protects me from them denying me coverage should my insurance lapse for any reason.
Yes there are problems with the ACA. The premiums are too expensive for middle class people. The deductibles are still too high. These two things would be fixed with a public option, something Republicans oppose.
And when it comes to health care, I am not a partisan at all. Trust me when I say I do not care who comes up with the best idea. The problem is, Republicans are not offering a serious plan. This isn’t an attack, it’s just the truth. The GOP has talked about block grants to the states and high risk insurance pools, but those have been tried in the past and haven’t worked. I believe in the free market, and Republicans mention “free market solutions.” The problem is health care isn’t exactly a free market thing. A free market depends on my ability to choose. Kroger or Publix. Sprint or Verizon. There is no choice when having a heart attack. Or after you’ve been hit by a car. Or when they’re telling you that you have a tumor in your intestine that looks gnarly and they want to do emergency surgery first thing in the morning. A surgery that costs $52,000.
This is also where honesty and integrity comes into play. The president is not an honest person. Again, this isn’t an attack, it’s just the truth. As of December of 2019, Trump had made 15,413 false of misleading statements since going into office. 15,413. I can’t trust something as vital as my healthcare to someone like that and the party that supports him.
The Democrats on the other hand are having a robust, good faith conversation about the future of health care. Whether you agree with them or not, they are putting forth ideas and giving the issue the weight it deserves.
So that’s one of the big reasons I’m a proud Democrat. I’ll lay out another couple in the next few days. Happy Thursday!