So it goes without saying that talking politics with friends can be a risky business. Friends can be lost and enemies made that way. It is sad, of course. But at the same time, I fervently believe that friends and family should be able to talk about politics, religion, and many other issues without tensions fraying. Unfortunately, ‘should’ and ‘is’ are not the same thing.
Such was how it was today, while commenting on your Wall Posts on FaceBook regarding the Health Care Reform issue in American politics, that I apparently upset you. ‘Condescending,’ was your term for me. Honestly, while my patience with some of your claims has been constantly tested since finding you on FaceBook some months ago, I honestly have tried to be neutral about your views (most of the time, anyway) and stick to trying to point out the factual errors in the articles you link to. If I was condescending, for instance, when I asked how government-managed health insurance could both be inefficient and problematic, and simultaneously out-compete private insurers, then I’m sorry. If I was condescending when I pointed out, in response to a post of yours about Fox News’ attacks on ABC and NBC for not running an anti-health reform ad, that:
Running the ad in question goes against a policy that ABC has long had in place. An interview with the President is nothing like an advertisement.
NBC has contacted the group putting out the ad requesting substantiation for claims made in the ad. The group has declined to provide that substantiation. [I can provide links to back this up]
… then I am sorry. And if I was condescending when I told you “Nice try” with an admittedly sarcastic tone, after you dismissed polling data showing that the majority of Americans support the public option proposed by President Obama as “liberal lies,” then I am sorry. And finally, I am sorry for your apparent denial of these facts which I attempted to discuss with you, even if my tone did not help things.
For this however, you branded me a socialist and told me to stay in Europe, or better yet, Cuba. Now, that would be fine I suppose if that matched my own view of myself, but it doesn’t. In fact, I very nicely (I think you agreed at the time) explained my actual motivation for supporting health insurance reform and the public option put forward by President Obama. Perhaps you’ve forgotten, so let me recall that for you.
That is, like many Americans, I have what health insurers call a ‘pre-existing condition.’ I have an inherited and early-onset form of hypertension (high blood pressure). It can be managed with daily medication and regular monitoring of my blood pressure, and since I’m still relatively young, I only have to visit my doctor 2-4 times a year. Despite the extreme mildness of this condition however, I have in recent years had increasing difficulties in getting complete medical coverage.
At Cornell University, I was rather securely covered, true. But since arriving to Cyprus, I have been rejected from health insurance altogether from one private insurer, and rejected for any cardiovascular-related care from another. At the moment, I am wholly reliant upon government-provided health insurance here – government insurance that would not exist for me until I reach retirement age were I currently residing in the US, if I’m not mistaken. Oh, I recognize that there are differences that could be significant in comparing private insurance here with that in the US, but this is still a fear for me. What happens when I return to live in the States, and I again have difficulty getting complete coverage? What about my fellow Americans currently living there in the same situation? Statistics show that there are millions of Americans in this situation.
As you imply or outright say at times, you’re against a welfare/nanny-state that provides health insurance for the jobless and the lazy. I am not jobless, and I resent the insult of being called lazy. And again, many Americans are in the same shoes, working for an honest living but being rejected from insurance because of pre-existing conditions. In your opposition to the public option, you fail to consider this. You fail to consider that supporting hard-working Americans is one vital way of supporting the American economy (even though we could of course disagree on how best to support those workers). And you fail to treat your neighbors as I’m sure you would like to be treated if your private insurer rejected your coverage claims.
But I’ve been fine with these failures to-date, as political disagreements among friends. What I’m really disappointed in you for is, instead of considering these issues, you reject them with thoughtless insults. Shame on you.