In the midst of the Health Care situation that is playing out before us. It’s sometimes good to step back and get a view of things from a different perspective. In the case of the United States, sometimes you need a more unbiased international review point to allow for honest contrast and comparison. Unfortunately I’m a New Yorker that hasn’t done a ton of world traveling. Fortunately I know those who have. Below I give you this mornings words from my close and dear friend, Ms Evita Robinson who shares her opinions on assignment, from the Land of the Rising Sun.
I sit at my laptop with the lust to continue my memoir, yet the need to respond to President Obama’s speech. Being in Japan, MSNBC is typically my late informant on those things political, and today was no different.
The above link is Obama’s speech on healthcare.
For fifty-one minutes I watched the most transparent split in legislation, occupy one room, and do everything from give repeat standing ovations, to bolt demeaning epithets to the President…..as he works to make sure every American is covered under health insurance.
This is why, of the character I have seen, I deem America as a jester. We look like clowns. And being about as far away from the United States as humanly possible, it’s legitimized and magnified when you are on the outside looking in. You can tell I’m pissed because my vocabulary comes out.
If a scream of rejoice can completely dismantle Howard Dean’s run in the Presidential primaries then this fool, Joe Wilson, needs to have his Congressional card revoked. Yes, this is a heated ‘debate’ but there is no excuse for a lack of respect for the person that holds the Highest Power in the Land. This is the President. You bite your tongue until you are with your close associates and friends.
I feel that with my lifestyle, I’m afforded a greater point of view on this subject, both to my delight and dismay. I have traveled around Europe, and lived in Paris. I currently live in Japan. I have a roster of friends that is so diverse, I could start an initiative to create my own potential UN. Where this experience comes in is that it gives a wider view. In no way am I dwarfing the impact of travel, but many times I do it just to meet people and see things. From this simple act, the world becomes a revolving door.
Now, from my first trip to Europe, six-weeks post obtaining a BA, I hit the runway. While there I worked with over one hundred artists from all over the world. We entertained conversations on everything from film, sex, religion, politics, and yes, health insurance. I came back with the saying that “America wants to keep its people sick and stupid.” In EVERY other nation I have visited in developed countries, there is a free public healthcare system, and/or option, and in some countries higher education is FREE! These conversations baffled me. It was like I was introduced into another world. At my age, I don’t need the works, I merely need a plan that will allow me to get yearly exams, and take care of any women’s health issues I need. That’s it. I am at an age where everything is preventative.
And people wonder why more and more I lead the life of a pending expat.
Since my first trip abroad, in 2006, I have been an advocate for a public option, and now we have a President who is so close to getting this for his people. We finally have a President who wants this as much as the people need it, but his opponents, primarily Republicans, are sabotaging his plan because they don’t like him. How evil, desperate, tasteless, selfish, and inhumane must you be?
In his passing, Ted Kennedy hit it right on the head with the words he left for Obama, “What we face is a moral issue.” This is indeed a moral issue, and if you don’t believe so then you obviously do not know the makeup of our government, and you are lying to yourself. The character of this country has been so far distorted that we evidently don’t know who we are anymore. But I will tell you what we are, sick and stupid.
As a freelancer, I have not had health insurance through a job in two years. I am in Japan paying $67 a month for health insurance that covers dental. In Europe, free health insurance is the norm, with certain provisions. Any of my European friends please feel free to correct me and chime in.
Prior to Japan, I was paying for health insurance to the tune of $308 a month for health insurance that is worse than the $67 I have here. $308 a month. A year before signing up with Freelancer’s Union (whose rates are also going up) I went uninsured for almost a year. If you think about it, it’s cheaper for me to save my money, pay for yearly checkups out of pocket, and not have health insurance. One, maximum two months insurance fee, could cover my costs and I can save the rest of that money throughout the year.
In New York, the health industry is the NUMBER ONE grossing industry. Over entertainment. That is gross.
So when I hear a President who is about doing something, and see a room split in applause, I become angry. Healthcare should be a right, not a bankrupting privilege.
I write this blog as an ode to my best friend, Bethany, who has risked her life in ways unimaginable to make sure that people in underdeveloped communities, in the most horrific of countries, get the access to healthcare and food they need…….you have no idea.