Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Politics as usual?

In moments of lucidity, we'd all like to believe that some things we encounter aren't "political."  Unfortunately, these days it seems every time we turn around we discover that it's never true.  Everything has become political.

In no place has this become more obvious than in the field of health care.

First, we have the on-going never-ending arguments about how we should provide Health Care.  To be honest, the real problem is that we have no idea what Health Care is.  Is it a right?  Or, is it a privilege?  Whatever else we decide, that's really the first, and most important, question.  If it is a "Right" then our answer should provide a way for everyone to receive adequate care.  That's not how things work today.  If it isn't a "Right" then exactly how do we morally justify telling somebody "you get to die."  Where is the criteria for that written?

Oddly, those who refuse to confront the truth of this primary concept are the same folks who complained that the Health Care Reform bill included "Death Panels."  Nope, we already have those.  More on that in a minute.

Now, setting that incredibly fundamental question aside, let's look at a couple things from the news this past week or so.

The first, obviously, is the decision by the Susan G Komen Foundation to cease funding grants to Planned Parenthood.  The original version of the rationale was that the Foundation a policy...that they wouldn't provide funding to anyone "under investigation."  According to the original story, since a conservative member of Congress wanted to "investigate" Planned Parenthood, the policy applied.

Well, we all know what happened next.  In short..."that stuff" hit the fan.  Of course, over the course of the next few days we heard Official Statements, Interviews, and a whole lot of Spin.  The facts, as we now know (and always suspected) were much different.

Nancy Brinker, Komen founder, showed up and said no, it wasn't really about investigations, it was actually about Komen's desire to directly fund services, and PP doesn't provide mammograms...they pay others to do that if a woman has possible cancer issues.  She, of course, denied that there was anything remotely political about the decision, and completely discounted two important questions.

The first question was the continuing brawl over the fact that PP provides abortion services.  It's come up before, and lots of people have taken shots at them about it.  Komen was just really stupid about how they did it.  The second question, again denied, was that the new Komen Director of Policy, Karen Handel, had anything to do with it.  Handel had run for Governor of Georgia in 2010, strongly advocating completely de-funding Planned Parenthood.

Almost everyone knew Brinker was lying.  When does an organization have a Director of Policy that isn't involved in making a "policy decision?"  Yeah...right!

So, now it's a few days later, and the truth has, more or less, come out.  Handel did strongly advocate for the decision, admitting as much in her resignation letter.  Internal documents, apparently leaked by embarrassed employees, confirm that.  Komen has sort of backtracked on the decision, saying only that they will consider grant applications from Planned Parenthood in the future.  Of course, that is no different than them announcing they will consider grant applications from the Three Little Pigs.  Considering doesn't remotely mean Approving.

So, for the low income women who use PP services for everything except abortion, Komen decided they weren't worthy.  A "Death Panel" by any other name still exists!  For some women, PP is their only health care option.

Now, moving on to our second example.

According to former Senator Rick Santorum, who wants to be the next President, hospitals shouldn't be required to provide "emergency contraceptive services" for women who have been raped.  While this appears to be politics jumping into the Health Care system yet again, it's really much more than that.

A woman who has been raped has been the victim in what many consider to be the ultimate crime.  You can't replace what the woman had before...piece of mind, the sanctity of her own body, and the mental state of security.  Those are forever gone.  Short of murder, it's the ultimate crime against a person, and in many ways worse.  Murder means you're dead.  Rape means you live with it for the rest of your life.  It's a forever crime.

Now, let's make that worse.  How?

Well, let's make it possible that you'll discover you're pregnant.  You'll be these Pro-Life carry the child to term and deliver the child.  It's not a medical decision.  It's not a personal decision.  It's politicians climbing inside your most private thoughts...and your body.

Then, once the child arrives, you have to make a choice.  Do you keep the child, and live with a daily reminder that you were raped?  Or do you give up the child, and then wonder every day if you did the right thing?  The ultimate Hobson's Choice, where there is no "right answer."  I'm not a woman, but I can't imagine a more difficult decision...or a more heartbreaking one.

So, this politician wants to ensure that the rape victim suffers for the rest of their life.  To what end?

Remember when I asked if Health Care was a "Right?"  Well, according to Rick Santorum, the Constitutional right to be secure in your home (or, by inference) in your own body, doesn't apply to rape victims.  The criminal has the Right to Remain Silent.  You have the Right to Suffer for Eternity.  Funny, I don't remember seeing that one in the Bill of Rights.

Now, before I say more, I'll just end with this.  GET THE DAMN POLITICIANS OUT OF OUR HEALTH CARE!


Anonymous said...


somehow, it seems counter-intuitive to respond in that manner. heh.

-Ravyn (whose open ID seems to be broken)

Craig Allen said...

Thanks for reading, Ravyn.