An Electorate on Edge – The Role of Patience in the Healthcare Debate


I drove to a coffee shop earlier today in an attempt to seclude myself from the minute-to-minute shuffle that accompanies the process of moving houses (that my family is currently wrapped up in). I had pages and pages of history notes to sift through — so I just needed a place where I could clear my head and forge forward.

A few minutes after I’d sat down at a table and started looking though my notes, I realized that I’d forgotten to retrieve one last bit of information on the North’s Civil War strategy. So I opened up my laptop, dragged my cursor down to the blue ‘Safari’ icon, and waited as the tiny clock-like pinwheel on the URL bar twirled and twirled.

But I quickly became impatient and within seconds found myself wearing out my index finger by tapping incessantly on my keyboard’s ‘enter’ key. I couldn’t stand the seven-second wait for my browser to load. I needed immediate gratification at the risk of my own sanity.

And then I had one of those ‘a-ha’ moments (the ones that used to be depicted in old Tom and Jerry reruns when a giant lightbulb would appear above a character’s head): I realized that my agitation wasn’t an isolated incident. I’m a junior in high school, so it’s no secret that patience isn’t my forte; but neither is it that of the American populace. We’re an electorate on edge, a country whose thirst for instantaneous indulgence usurps any bit of willingness to roll with the punches when the going gets tough.

Last week, the House — sporting its fresh coat of red — voted to repeal the landmark healthcare bill that promised to to insure over thirty-two million additional people, end health insurance companies’ implementation of lifetime coverage limits, forbid discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions, and — in essence — overhaul the broken healthcare system and its tired regulations.

Healthcare was (as most issues in this presidency are) a highly partisan battle. It further polarized Washington. It created enemies out of friends. But, of course, one side won, and the bill’s policies began to take effect in the weeks and months after its passage. The White House website says that all of the aforementioned policies among “other changes including new benefits, protections and cost savings will be implemented between now and 2014.”

Hold on a second. So does that mean we have to wait?

And now America’s fuse is lit and Congress’ spiral of reverse gratitude is already spinning. Republicans have long been tapping their feet and anxiously looking at their watches; and as soon as they got into power, they pounced.

Michele Bachmann wants to “repeal [the] president and put a president in the position of the White House who will repeal this bill.” Despite the gravity of that demand and — in my opinion — its breach of both civil and human rights, Bachmann represents a growing mass who expect something from nothing. It’s the same portion of the population who expected the economy to be “fixed” within months of Obama’s election and are “shocked” to find out that he’s done “nothing” to repair the economy.

Things take time. Long-run investments are what sustain economies. If the United States (or even my family, for that matter) only made short-term economic choices and divested from every stock or venture that didn’t immediately yield a massive positive result, it would be in a much downgraded position. When healthcare hasn’t finished coming into effect and Republicans already decide that it hasn’t quite done the trick, that’s an irresponsible decision.

Patience.

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3 thoughts on “An Electorate on Edge – The Role of Patience in the Healthcare Debate

  1. Two points:

    1. Republicans didn’t win the House and then all of a sudden decide not to support this healthcare bill. The American people, knowing that Republicans are fundamentally opposed to this healthcare bill, voted Republican in overwhelming numbers just a few months ago. The American people, not Republicans, decided.

    2. Who could expect Republicans to wait and see how the healtchare measures work out when they consider them unconstitutional? To Republicans, this is not a matter of the effectiveness of the measures, but rather a fundamental question about the appointed powers of government.

  2. Humans rights violations? How? That sounds extreme.

    And sure, let’s talk about long term. In the long term, this health care bill probably will bankrupt the country. The concern about waiting is that I and many of the Republicans who are voting against these measures are concerned that they will have a negative effect. They do not want to wait and see because they believe that they already know how it will end up. Additionally, they believe that it is unconstitutional as well as doomed to ineffectiveness, so it is irrelevant

    Lastly, Bachmann represents the people who want nothing from nothing? Hold your coffee for just a second. From my perspective, it is you, sir, who wants something from nothing. You want people to be magically insured without a clear plan of how to pay for it, without a clear way to bring costs down, without a clear way to make it actually impact life expectancy. The assumption that you can pass a bill and just give everyone health insurance demands something from nothing. So please insert your coin and try again.

  3. Patience is usually experienced by the rational, logical thinker and active person. as well as by the “seasoned” individual. How a sixteen year old understands this already suggests wisdom beyond his years.

    Regarding your observations, anyone who suggests “repealing” our president needs to return to school so that she can learn (or try to learn) her grammar and definitions.

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