A few days before the general election last week, I heard a woman from another state give her views on the candidates. She was quite concerned that the country faced a deluge of what she called "socialists" and especially the harmful effects of "Obamacare."
She went on to share the problem of her husband's recent medical problems, several of which could be life-threatening or permanently disabling. That would concern most anyone. But then she finished with a cheery, "We're OK, though, because Medicaid came through on everything."
Deary dear! Her advisers forgot to tell her that "Obamacare" (officially known as, "Affordable Care Act") arrives in her family medical account through Medicaid. She benefits from socialism, whether she knows it or not. And she votes against her husband's health, too. Poor thing. Too bad she doesn't have strength of conviction — or the conservative advice of her TV and radio people — enough to say, "No thanks. We can't pay for it."
Locally, our health care facility managers, doctors and accountants alike, now beg for our community to protect ourselves and others in any way we can against the latest virus. They know that we have indulged ourselves in the false promise of "freedom from death" or the false idea, "well, we're going to get it no matter what," to where we will soon exceed our own capacity to care for each other.
Without the strict rod of law enforcement, these health leaders, trained in the diplomatic skills of delivering bad news, know that all they can do is "encourage" us to do what we all, deep down, know as prudent behavior. We are free to leave the umbrella at home, so we do, while these good leaders simply watch with hands tied.
Are we foolish enough to continue to dig the well downhill from the outhouse, when we know better? If we know the right thing but refuse to do it, we will die.
In this case, our community is about to go without hospital care in frightening numbers. We don't have beds and nurses and doctors to throw away, to take them for granted at our personal peril.
Contagion is exponential rather than simply cumulative. When one infection can equal 10 more, what's the value of a juvenile football game, really? We might be making that happy family birthday party the last one for too many in the house. We do not behave in ways that would attract outside investment and personal engagement by new-tech companies.
The Constitution does not prohibit public funding of collective good, nor does it require us to act like responsible adults. We are on our own there. Beware of those who want us to think that "Obamacare" is a scourge to be purged from the land. That's the shiny bait in a one-way trap.
The part they didn't tell you — and don't have the decency to admit — is that your hospital is already reserved for them, should it survive.
Robin S. Kuykendall, JD