June 29, 2012

The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act seems to leave a (potential) big hole in health care coverage in this country: people eligible for coverage under the expansion of Medicaid authorized in the law who may not have access to it if the state in which they live chooses not to expand its version of Medicaid.

This is troubling to me.  I think it has to do with my lack of trust in people to act for somebody else’s good in this kind of context.  I know that in economic terms, it’s actually a very good deal for the states to engage in the expansion — the federal government provides most of the money and the state saves money elsewhere in its own budget.

But in this current political and social climate — especially, it seems, among conservatives — helping those “other” people is either a low priority or rejected with convenient rationalizations that amount to, “If people can really be in difficult situations through no fault of their own, my own sense of safety is compromised.”  I worry that states, especially if they think it will make the current presidential administration look bad, won’t opt into the expansion.

I also worry they won’t because in my personal experience, people often decline to help in such situations.  I have learned they can do that, even if social, moral, legal, and other codes require that they do help, and even if they themselves have actually agreed to:  when push comes to shove, they don’t have to.  And often they don’t.

The world goes on nonetheless.  There’s always help at a spiritual level.

For me, then, this situation is a challenge about trust, acceptance (of other people’s free will and that things don’t always work out pleasantly for all), and faith — and hope.  Hope is actually the part I have the most trouble with.  Hope that isn’t wishful thinking or holding my breath.  I have felt hope on some occasions very deeply, I know it exists in the universe, just as the great love I have experienced exists.  It’s like trying to find that musical note in my voice again, this time on purpose rather than through stumbling into it.

This is not about affecting what (Republican-controlled?) states do about Medicaid, although that situation has prompted me to think about it.  It is about my own need to find a way to live in this world that is most consonant with the currents of the universe that move in a helpful direction.


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