Us vs. Them

I continue to believe Americans are caught in an us versus them sand trap.   Our country is split in half, culturally and politically. Why should this be any different?   We worry that we are losing out and do not trust each other. We need to be sure no group is getting a better shake than we are.

The new, whiter than white, brighter than bright health care bill is a prime example.   In this space, we have agreed that Trump is full of (choose your substance) when he asserts that individuals with preexisting conditions will be taken care of. That just is not true. And the numbers affected are staggering.

Reassuring rhetoric is good enough for many Republicans. Will that become most Republicans? The jury is out.   Here is the point they are missing. Us is them. We are fighting ourselves. When almost half of us have at least one chronic illness and almost twenty percent are disabled, who in the world do we think we are talking about? Us, joined by family and friends, neighbors and colleagues. I realize I am a broken record, but maybe it is time to protect ourselves.  Let’s stop only watching the world. Please turn around a see each other.

17 Responses to Us vs. Them

  1. Christopher May 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    You’re right. There really is no ‘them’ except rhetorically.

    The momentum of all of this is built upon layers of tension from decades of our own self-inflicted inertia, like a huge tightly coiled spring that finally became unhinged by years of unattended rust. It’s really, really hard to reign in anger in the face of all the pointed but misdirected anger everywhere else–like snarling dogs up and down the street. My brother used to have a hair-trigger temper, and I could only ever bear witness as the anger spiraled out of control no matter what I said or did to mitigate it. It was a force of its own that couldn’t be tamed, and I always wondered where it came from. After years of experiencing it and contemplating on it I started to realize that it was frustration and insecurity from mistrust… so anything I said or did would increase that mistrust, and the anger. I had to take the verbal abuse (sort of) and try to build trust back. I didn’t HAVE to, I WANTED to. Even though we’re different people with different views and opinions, we’re from the same family and it’s more important to try to stick together than go to blows or fragment further just because we don’t see things the same way. It takes time and a lot of work, and some compromises and concessions. But at the end of the day, we’re better off for trying and hopefully we understand each other better. Plus it sucks to be all alone.

  2. Yvonne May 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

    “Them” will never understand until “them” has to pay for their own medical. “Us” pay for capital hill medical yet “them” control how we pay i.e
    exempting themselves from the newest version that takes care away or limits it. I don’t know what will open “them” eyes other than facing a personnel health catastrophe but their golden healthcare parachute opens and the fall is softened. Until we become one instead of US vs Them…”Us” is doomed.

  3. Hilary May 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

    Richard – They know this and don’t give a shit. For them, they don’t care about anyone but themselves. These are the same people who claim to be conservative Christians. If Jesus was around, is there anyone who thinks he would be for this legislation? What would Trump say about Jesus?

    One day they will meet their maker. I wish them luck with that conversation.

  4. Kat May 5, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    Obamacare was an epic fail. How can this healthcare reform Trump proposed not support those with pre-existing conditions? As we’ve seen, not all bills are right the first time around. Hoping healthcare bill tweaked with each administration until it works.

  5. GW May 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

    I have worked in healtcare for 35 years Kat, I would love to hear from you why the ACA (stop calling it ObamaCare!) was an Epic fail.

  6. Yvonne May 7, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    Isn’t it ironic that no one is calling this healthcare bomb Trumpcare? Probably because he is only a pawn not on of the people involved in planning.
    He was too busy golfing and eating chocolate cake to bother with reading and working with the healthcare industry to actually make ACA better. ACA was not an epic fail. It IS a rocky start to a better healthcare system for everyone.. It didn’t have any republican support so they wanted it to fail. It is not what it needs to be because of that lack of bipartisanship. We,the chronically I’ll continue to suffer while these idiots draw line in the sand and whip out measuring sticks. People need to move with more fluidity from protest to polls. All Voters are not galvanized to get these jerks out of Washington. Much like the Civil Rights movement, the chronically ill need to rise up in 2018!

  7. GW May 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    I completely agree! I am trying to understand the “other” side of this argument in order to provide the truth I know having worked in the industry for so long before I became a member of the chronically ill family (I am still working, thankfully).

    This is not only about the chronically ill, this about any person unfortunate enough to experience a sentinal event that impacts their health. I have seen many never recover financially before the ACA due to the lack of health insurance, some pass away unable to get the care need for fear of losing their home.

    As Christoper wrote many weeks ago, how did we become so self serving? Where did our compassion and care go? My hope is in my daughter’s generation , she too is working in healthcare and I see the intolerance she and her friends verbalize over these shenanigans. I say repeatedly – Rise up!

    I think for starters those that are passing this “great”, “forward thinking” legislation need to participate in it. I think 2018 should be about that amongst other things !

  8. Kat May 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    Some reasons why Obamacare is an epic failure–
    -5.4 million people lost coverage when Obamacare became law. Insurers canceled millions of healthcare plans that people liked because they could not meet the new requirements demanded by Obamacare.
    -People have seen their premiums skyrocket. Some by more than 140%.
    -Low income workers who received coverage through Obamacare are without insurance because the deductibles are way too high for them to afford.
    -There are now less choices of in network health care providers.
    -Obama took 716 billion out of Medicare in order to push Obamacare through and to pay for it.
    -Hundreds of thousands of people lost their Obamacare replacement insurance that they had bought through Obamacare’s insurance cooperatives. This cost taxpayers 1.2 billion and left almost 800,000 people trying to find coverage.
    -The fact that Aetna, the largest insurance company has backed out, should speak volumes.
    -In order for employers to keep their small businesses from going bankrupt, they refused to hire over 40 employees so they could avoid the penalty enforced by Obamacare.
    -Businesses have had to cut employees’ hours from full to part time and have not expanded and hired in order not to be penalized by Obamacare.
    -Because employees are working less hours they are not receiving company insurance and they are also making less money. Therefore Obamacare is killing the job market.
    -Obamacare has failed to ensure the most people possible at the lowest rate.

  9. Christopher May 7, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    The problem isn’t the repealing of the ACA, or the foreseeable complications of a new healthcare directive; we can fix those with work. The problem is the ‘take no prisoners’ attitude of the Congress that is spilling over into our everyday lives influencing almost everyone that intolerance, ignorance, and intractable inflexibility is not only okay but demanded. We’ve seriously lost our way, and our government’s profound political deafness is crushing our ability to vault forward toward a better world for everyone on many fronts. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s pretty bad and getting worse. Time for all of us to take a breath and really listen to each other–we ALL have something important to say, and to add.

    They’re not making America great again… they’re making America hate again, and again, ad nauseam.

  10. Yvonne May 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

    Not sure from where that info was copied however that info has been fact checked as inaccurate and misleading . http://www.factcheck.org/2014/04/millions-lost-insurance/

  11. Brian L. May 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    In the last thread, Richard spoke of creating a coalition to lobby for research dollars, and why that wouldn’t work. In this thread, Yvonne makes the valid point that congress has a sweet healthcare package that insulates them from the issues everyone else faces. And all over this blog we have discussed the polarizing nature of our society, and in turn, our government. But one thing everyone agrees on is that our healthcare system is broken. I wonder if we can agree on a starting point? What about a coalition to force congress to become members of the healthcare system that they create? How do we do this? We demand it. Remember the town halls full of angry constituents when Obamacare was enacted? Remember the same town halls recently when Obamacare was to be repealed? The only difference between the two was the attendees. Those groups have different ideas of what the proper course of action is. But both groups know that changes are necessary. And I think that both groups would like to see congress live with the rules that they impose on everyone else. I truly believe that this is a bipartisan issue. That’s right, the “B” word! Congress isn’t going to like it. But if the town halls are attended by both groups all demanding the same thing, it just might get their attention. When the lawmakers’ child has a pre-existing condition, they should have to deal with it just like everyone else. And when that pre-existing condition is no one’s fault, they’re going to think that it’s unfair that they should be financially ruined because of it. The key here is that democrats, republicans, and even Trump voters can agree on this. This may not be the magic bullet that solves healthcare, but it might be a start. Ya gotta walk before you can run.

  12. henriette May 9, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    But the Senator from Alabama said if we lived a healthy life we wouldn’t have a pre-existing condition. Unbelievable. WTF?

    • Yvonne May 9, 2017 at 11:01 am #

      OMG Henrietta I think he gets the clueless elitist let them eat cake asshole of the year award. He is the poster child for why our system is broken! As Brian L pointed out they need to work together towards a bipartisan solution unless we, the constituents, are doomed. The screwed up news media needs to be drilling home the fact that our representatives ARE NOT GOING TO BE EFFECTED because they will maintain their coverage. Meanwhile a hard working family in Alabama with preexisting conditions may lose everything because the cost of care is not covered as a result of numbskulls like that Senator. The news media chases stories by the minute instead of highlighting what’s really important for viewers to know regardless of whether they are liberal or conservative.

  13. Louisa May 10, 2017 at 9:38 am #

    http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/03/17/members-of-congress-health-insurance
    Worth a listen – definitely suprised me.

  14. Brian L. May 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

    Wow! Very enlightening Louisa. I was totally wrong about that. I try to know as much as I can about the world around me, and I’m very disappointed with myself that I didn’t know this.

  15. GW May 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    I agree with you Christopher, the divisiveness is untenable and needs to change. It almost seems like a complete blank slate in the House and Senate is in order.

    Kat, on the question of comparing what the ACA mandated versus what the AHCA mandates; see the article here published by the Kaiser Family Foundation:

    http://kff.org/interactive/proposals-to-replace-the-affordable-care-act/

    Do you think this is an improvement?

    The bottom line is that the system is broken, the fact that Health Insurance Companies have greater shareholder return on invesment than cell phone, beer, grocery store, drug store, life insurance & mortgage companies (this does not even count Hospital Companies) is egregious. At least the ACA was beginning to change the payment model on the care delivery side by incentivizing QUALITY CARE and not volume. It will take alot to reform the system which is why we have left it alone for 50 years.Everyone has to work together and make compromizes along the way, it will be a long road but we have to solve it.

    I also still think that legislators must participate in the coverage offered through reform, that is not a done deal yet under the AHCA.

    I am hopeful that the horrible situation we are in now is a wake up call that we the people have to band together and renew the true American spirit of compassion, optimism and our committment to our people.