Sunday, March 28, 2010

ObamaCare Won: How Will You Respond?

A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream MediaWho's Really In Control?

Well, they finally did it. The democrats passed their healthcare legislation. As with every big political issue, the aftermath is a different experience depending upon how you're wired and what you hoped for. I'd like to, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, offer congratulations to those who are celebrating and especially to those who have invested time and energy to see this come to fruition.

That said, I'm not one of the party-goers this week. I'm not angry (as I've heard from many others) or sad or even fearful. I will admit being disappointed. I'm sorry that those who represent us can't come a little closer to common ground. The biggest problem is that there isn't a unified "us" to represent. There is a divided "us" and some elected officials represent the beliefs of one half while others represent the remaining half.

It's easy to blame politicians for the discord that's so flagrant in the US. But in truth, they're elected and paid to give voice to what we demand. And this divisiveness isn't unique to our country. It's world-wide and it's as old as recorded history. Humans tend to thrive on it. You only have to watch a basketball game during March Madness to know that we love to pick sides and passionately align ourselves there.

I realize enthusiasm for a sports team doesn't remotely equate to the significance of being committed to a major political initiative like that which was approved last week, but we do tend to take wins and losses personally regardless of the relevance. However, just as the loss of an important game, we have to put this one behind us and move forward with purpose and grace.

I'll be honest and confess that I have grave concerns regarding the effects this legislation will cause. I'm deeply concerned about our senior population. I dread losing some of my favorite docs who say they'll find another profession or retire. I'm not looking forward to the long waits and inferior care that I suspect I'll be subjected to for medical attention. As a business owner I know there will be a mountain of paperwork required to verify that we're in compliance with the new insurance mandates. Yuck!

But in spite of all my reservations, still I will be intentional to remind myself that God is sovereign and this outcome did not surprise Him. He works all things out for good and we can trust Him. In the meantime if you're not in the winner's camp on this one, be a gracious loser and continue to fight the good fight.
Diane Markins
Share your opinions here.


Ally Johnson said...

No we are definitely not celebrating but I'm not going to shoot daggers at anyone who is. I am also very very concerned at the ripple effect this bill will have in our economy, our jobs, our unemployment etc. When you have a company like AT&T come out and say it will cost them $1 billion to be in compliance that only equates to more cutbacks and layoffs.
And yesterday my husband and I calculated the potential tax increase we will face and are now wondering if we can afford to stay in our home. It's going to be a rough couple of months but I agree with you Diane, this is the time to put our hope and faith in God, trusting that he is sovereign and will provide. Thanks for sharing.

Mark Ireland said...

I consider myself a moderate. I see merit in the conservative idea of weighing what has worked in the past and not abandoning that path without good reason. I also see value in the more liberal notion that change can be good...we live in a dynamic world and not everything that worked in the past will necessarily work well in the future.

In the workplace we are now trained to embrace change and accept it as a normal part of our life at work. And in that environment I have seen leaders make decisions too quickly, without sufficient thought that backfired. Conversely, I've seen employees who refused to change--remaining "stuck" in their old ways of doing things. Some of these folks ended up losing their jobs because they simply could not accept, nor adapt to change.

So, in regard to changes like the one we are talking about here, with the healthcare system, the first thing I asked myself was: "Did the former system work and serve people?" And, "Could that system be improved?"

I suppose the system served people like me who had a job with a corporation that offered a healthcare plan and could afford co-pays and prescription drugs. The system did not however work for many people I know...hard-working folks caught in the quagmire called, "pre-existing condition" that kept them from access to insurance at any price. Some of these folks lost their life savings and are now entering retirement age with nothing left, financially. They know that they will never be able to retire and they also face the possibility that their disease could return again.

Nor did our system take into consideration the working poor (and their children) who fell into the gap between the type of insurance I have and Medicaid, on the other end of the spectrum.

So, I cannot say that the new healthcare system is the perfect answer, but I believe it is a necessary step. Other parts of the world view healthcare in a similar manner to food and shelter--a basic human need, not a luxury that should be subject to the laws of supply and demand--governing who is served and how much it will cost them.

Germany has a healthcare system that takes care of their entire population, yet their businesses do well and their economy is in far better shape than ours. Perhaps having healthy employees who miss less time at work will help companies prosper. Businesses in the US will adapt.

While speaking to a wealthy young man who had inquired about how he might inherit eternal life, Jesus said, "Go and sell everything you have and gift to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."

Perhaps each of us bears responsibility for more freely giving of our financial blessings to help the poor, even if it is through a government program of this type. My statement may rub some the wrong way who feel like they want control over where they give, but this is an area of human need that cannot be ignored and cannot be "fixed" on a small-scale.

Our financial blessings are a gift. We don't "own" anything, but are stewards of whatever abundance we may have and we are obliged to do the greatest good with them that we can. This system may not be perfect, but it is an effort to address the needs of those who have been left behind.

Mark Ireland

Deanna Petriello said...
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Linda S. Fitzgerald said...

Well I am angry, was sad to the point of depression the Monday following the vote (of course I would be, I'm 'vintage' & stand to loose a lot in this move). I view it as a loss for America - the loss of precious freedoms that generations fought & died for. It's much bigger than health care reform - it's about an ideology that is dramatically ... See Moreopposed to the US Constitution and the America we all know & love (at least most of the general population knows & loves).

The divisiveness of which you speak has been brought on by the current administration. They are doing everything possible to divide America & have us at each others' throats. All one has to do is listen to the rhetoric out of the POTUS mouth. It's all designed to anger much of America and keep us a divided populace.

As a strongly committed believer of more than 30 years, I am well aware that our heavenly PAPA is in charge. And he sure is getting the attention of folks, like me, who had become complacent. He has our full attention now. And while I have every faith that He will win out in this. . . we may all have "hell to pay" before He does.

Okay - rant over!

Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed
A Women's Place Network, Inc.
Affiliated Women Intl(tm)

Anonymous said...

Well... This is such a touchy subject. Politics always are. I understand that something needed to change but this is just too much. I think they moved way too fast and didn't really consider the over all affects of this. I know this will help all those who have no insurance and need doctors. I just feel I am getting the short end of the stick. I am blessed and fortunate to have great insurance but now that's not really going to mean much. I am very nervous that I am going to loose my doctors, some that have known me since birth. Yes I have insurance but unfortunately I am a person who uses it way more than most. I trust God has a plan and we will all understand it soon. Today I'm nervous though.


Anonymous said...

Well said Mark! I couldn't agree more, and couldn't have said it better myself. As a person with two parents who both have pre-existing conditions and are now struggling in their retirement age, living off of social security and paying out the waazoo for insurance, I can't help but see the many benefits this new system will provide them. Not to mention the many more friends and acquaintances I know that fall into that gap of the poor working class that work for companies that force them to work just enough but not enough hour to qualify for full time benefits, or people like my sister who works for a company that make her work full time but keep her employed under a freelance status so they don't have to shell out insurance benefits!! In the last year she has recently been faced with some health problems that have caused her to seek medical attention in which she has had to pay out of pocket for, and in New York City you can only imagine how much it has cost her.

So I think Mark is right in asking to what extent our existing system really works? For those of us fortunate to have good jobs, insurance, and no pre-existing conditions (myself included), it's great! But what about the rest of the population that aren't as fortunate? Are we just going to continue to turn our backs on them?