The first rule of healthcare reform is that we don’t talk about healthcare reform. At least not here in Suburbia.
Those who know me, know I’m a part of a mixed marriage. Yes, Adventure Guy is a Republican. Years into our union, he admitted that he thought I’d give up that whole “being a Democrat thing” once I saw the light of his superior thinking. After all, I was the only Democrat he’d ever actually met (a fact he whole-heartedly believed, though I’ve now ferreted out fellow sympathizers among his high school acquaintances).
He clearly had no idea how deep my own family’s roots run. As my grandmother once opined, “You know, your grandfather wouldn’t have voted for God if he’d been running on the Republican ticket.” I’m pretty sure she’s right about that, though I try to be a bit more open-minded.
That open-mindedness coupled with Adventure Guy’s generally moderate social views and a mutual disdain for our immediate past president has allowed us to live in relative harmony for the past twenty or so years. The Clinton impeachment and the events leading up to it did make for a bit of a bumpy ride in the nineties, coupled as it was with new-parent sleep deprivation (I figure I didn’t sleep much from 1994-2000; having three children in less than six years does that).
But I’m not sleepy now. In fact, I spent all of Sunday monitoring Twitter while I watched college basketball, waiting for the ideal time to flip over to C-SPAN–definitely a unique version of March Madness. I watched the line of Republicans stumble over getting their objections on the record. I watched the call for the vote and those numbers creeping up toward 216. To his credit, Adventure Guy even came in to see the magic moment when the tally hit the mark and kept on going.
And then we watched basketball. Until, Twitter let me know the president was about to make a statement. I stated my intention to watch him do so. Adventure Guy thought it best to relocate. When I gave him the “all-clear” he came back in stating, “I figure this is something we just ought not to talk about.”
He’s right. We shouldn’t. He’s worried our healthcare expenses will go up. He’s likely right in the short-term. We are among the lucky ones. We have healthcare, highly subsidized by his employer–so subsidized that it costs a third of what I could cover our family for under my plan, and that is with the state covering all of the costs for me personally. We, like many other families, are also one layoff away from losing that cushion. So, I’m willing to pay a little more to create a system that makes the prospect of going bankrupt because you had the nerve to get cancer just a bad memory–like that nightmare you know was scary but you can’t totally recall.
I don’t really comprehend why that’s not something all Americans can’t get behind. But amidst the history-making events of this week, my own state legislature brought up a bill to allow individuals, healthcare providers, and insurers to “opt out” of the national reforms. Claims of socialized medicine made the rounds on the status bars of friends’ Facebook accounts, and many pledged never to vote for a candidate who’d supported the healthcare reform measure–a goal that won’t be too much of a stretch to meet around here considering that none of our state’s delegation supported the measure.
I contemplated moving the one of the coasts for a few minutes. But, since I’d bring my very own favorite naysayer with me, I figure that would be a very expensive and ineffective means to an end. So, I’ll keep connecting online to those who share my excitement. And, here in Suburbia, I’ll keep quiet. But that quiet hides my strongest hope that we’ve turned the corner on this issue and that one day in the not-so-distant future, we’ll all be wondering what the fuss was about.