In case you've been stranded on a desert island without your iPhone the last week, you're probably aware that our government has passed a healthcare reform bill. Now, I took government in summer school, so I learned next to nothing, and cannot actually tell you what happens next before we see any real changes. But, I have a Facebook page and "friends" from many different areas of the country and many different backgrounds. So what I do have is an excellent sampling of public opinion on this reform. I cannot believe how many people have a strong opinion about this issue, and feel it necessary to post it for all their contacts to read. I have counted and found that 90% of posts I've read have been whole-heartedly, and in some cases, extremely angrily, against this bill.
I admit that I haven't read a whole lot about healthcare reform, which may sound strange given my career. I am not in denial, I promise, I just didn't feel it was necessary to get all up in arms about something that was likely to change multiple times from its original form. Then, it would go through a process of implementation that would take many years. Eventually, somebody will tell me how all this is going to affect me, right? Well, according to my Facebook friends, the bill will allow "big government" to take over our medical rights, make it so senior citizens can't see the doctor they want, and provide health benefits for pedophiles on Indian reservations. In the news, I see stories about threats against democrats who voted for the bill, and images of crosshairs being put over maps of their districts.
I am not a politically active person. I vote, but I don't campaign or put bumper stickers on my car supporting one candidate over another. I will say I believe our healthcare system needs to be overhauled. I don't know if this new bill is the best way to do that, because I haven't read all 2400 pages of it, but I don't see anything in the summaries I've read to make me want to threaten any lawmakers. So I will come out against the anger and the clear division in our country between those who believe in this change and those who do not. I feel very sad that most people seem to be getting their information from, and therefore basing their opinions on, the 24 hour news media. You can find inflammatory statements on both the left- and right-wing news outlets, so no one is free from blame. I don't see many people looking for a healthy intellectual debate on this issue. They are looking for a fight. Since I am a pacifist, I will continue to keep my politics to myself, thank you very much.