The healthcare debate is an emotionally driven, shortsighted, and dividing topic when it doesn’t affect you.
For me it’s having my dad still around.
My dad has worked hard. Has overcome poverty under communism, child abuse and neglect that would make Dave Pelzer look well off, and managed to keep positive in complete disrespect for his presence as human being.
He’s also the man that removed my family from a conflict that led to genocide, provided for my family while working as a contractor in Germany, and brought my family to the US in the hopes of a better future. I am the beneficiary of his work ethic and positive outlook and I owe him more than I could enumerate in simple favors over a lifetime.
He’s the understated representative of the american dream as described by both dominating parties within the US. He is, what some consider self-made at the epitome of the concept. A shining beacon of what you can achieve in the U.S with hard work.
Yet, I nearly lost him because he can be a stubborn ass when it comes to unforeseen monetary expenditures.
My dad had/has super-ventricular tachycardia and since he has an underlying heart disease he was very likely to not survive an episode that led to a heart attack.
He had 4 such episodes, ones that nearly caused me to drop out of school because I was immature to handle the possible scenario where I might lose him.
Those 4 episodes were a common dialogue for those in need of help.
They would start out with his heart beginning to race. 120, 140, 180, 205.. followed by sweating, heavy breathing and very notable flu like symptoms. Then came the question of when is it going to end? Some episodes lasted 30 minutes, but kept progressing until they would be 1-2 hours in time, escalating in intensity.
Those 4 episodes of note were all in the 2+ hour stages, and didn’t end until we arrived at the hospital emergency room when they shot him up with doses of Adenosine.
Being a stubborn ass, my father never wanted to rush to the ER. Regardless of how bad his symptoms were, regardless of how much damage it would cause his heart. His entire perception on the situation was that we didn’t have money to cover the ER visits.
I would have to physically fight my father, throw threats of ambulance transport(a very expensive venture), and logical persuasion of how to balance the budget post-visit. Anything that I could come up with I would have to attempt to save him from himself.
That dialogue hurt me. It prematurely forced me to have to accept the death of my father, and it made me despise him because his first worry was money for us rather than staying around. I wish that type of dialogue between a child and a parent to never have to be a feasible scenario. I don’t wish that on the worst of people.
I write this not to ask for pity for myself, as I was taught to never accept it. Not to ask you to pity those in need, but to respect them as your human equal. Not to throw money once for a cleared consciousness, but to help when you can.
If you so believe in the generosity of the human soul and giving, then it should not be a debate to help those less fortunate.