7:00 a.m. phone calls, domestic terrorists & human bellwethers

by , posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 8:16 am

I’m usually too asleep to retain much that my daughter Kate says to me during her daily 7:00 a.m. phone call, but this morning she woke me up.

In the midst of discussing whether her husband may need minor surgery, she said “every time I think about health care now, I just get mad.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, just that we’re well on the way to ending up with a situation where everyone who’s uninsured now is going to be forced to go out and buy some junk policy at a currency exchange, just like poor people do now with car insurance, that won’t cover a thing but will keep them from getting arrested. So lots of cash to insurance companies and no services in return. Worst of all, it’s just going to be massively expensive and in four years we’ll end up with Republicans campaigning on the ‘waste’ and ‘failure’ of our ‘socialist’ healtcare system. And they’ll be right – except for the socialist part – because what congress is currently cooking up is only going to help the people who’ve been trying to kill us – I know, I used to work for big insurance.”

Then she went on about “that guy who has an actual conscience and quit his job after his insurance company killed that little girl in California” and now goes around speaking about the evils of letting the bottom line decide who lives and who dies.

“Every time I hear him speak I think, yeah, this guy, he knows what’s really going on inside insurance companies. And then I hear Obama say stuff about wanting to work with the insurance companies and I think, well that sounds real reasonable on the face of it, but then I see this going all the insurance companies way and I think: What ever happened to not negotiating with terrorists? Do these people in Washington not realize the insurance companies are terrorizing the American public?”

Then Kate, who is in her early thirties said:

“You know I didn’t vote in the first Bush election, no one I know did. I figured “what’s the point?” One old white guy vs. another old white guy, all with the same money behind them in the end. Then when it got to the second Bush election, I thought, well, okay, obviously ANY other old white guy is better than this old white guy, so better vote. But this time was really different, I thought and all my friends thought too (by the way, I’ll just note here that whatever Kate thinks, inevitably ends up being a preview of what most of her entire generation will end up thinking – she’s the variety of human known as an ‘early adapter’), well, hell, this guy means it, real change. But I tell you that if we fail on this health care thing, as it looks like we’re going to, well screw them. Screw them all.”

What, I asked, would she do?

“Well it’s not like I’ll go out and vote for a Republican,” she said, “I’ll just go back to not voting at all, and wondering when my kids or my grandkids will get around to the next revolution.”


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