21 August 2007

Election 2008 – Some Personal Non-Partisan Thoughts

This past weekend, my husband and I watched most of the Democratic Debate. There are a lot of candidates, and I have to say that I had not done my homework on who they were or where they stood on most issues. I have come to think differently about politics in the last couple of years, and it started with an understanding that I got in reading the book Are you Liberal, Conservative or Confused? I was confused. Primarily I have gained perspective that Conservatives typically want more government to regulate issues of morality and less governmental controls on our spending – while Liberals are often the opposite. I realize this is a very simplistic perspective but it helped me understand a lot. There are so many issues that it would be very difficult to align myself at the moment with a particular political party or candidate just yet.

Another thing that has changed in me is my perspective on the church’s role in politics. Donald Miller helped hammer it out in Blue Like Jazz that all to often as Christians we think that we have to be conservatives – because moral issues are far more important than money to a believer. Personally, I have come to realize that you cannot legislate morality. I am not saying that the answer is to sit back with our hands in our pockets and do nothing to stand against evil, but making laws is doing little to affect the hearts of people to make a real change. What more often than not seems to happen is Christians are setting themselves up against a hurting world – pointing the finger of condemnation instead embracing them with the love of Christ, in their sin, and saying at the same time, as our Lord would say, “Go and sin no more.” No, we will not say that wrong is right and right is wrong. God’s standard still stands, but I believe with all my heart that love is the only vehicle to get people there.

Since the debate a couple of days ago, I have come to realize an issue that is of particular importance to me is National Healthcare. My thoughts on the issue are just starting to gel, however, I have a personal story to share – I’ll make it brief.

My son was born in September of 1997. When he was a couple of weeks old, I was returning home from a visit with a friend. As I was putting my key into my front door, I looked down at my newborn baby in his carseat to find that his lips and face were turning blue. I practically slammed the carseat on the ground there on the front porch, and jerked the belt off to get the baby out, and in all the violent jostling, he took a big gasp for air and started to cry. I was crying with him, holding him in my arms and terrified.

When I was pregnant with him, I had consulted with my pediatrician about this baby. His older sister had been on an apnea monitor until she was a year old because she too had stopped breathing at a 2 week pediatrician’s visit when the nurse was drawing her blood, and a subsequent sleep study showed that she was only breathing normally about 40% of the time. In spite of this, the pediatrician assured me that it would not necessarily be the case with her siblings.

I took my son immediately to the pediatrician’s office after the incident on the front porch. The doctor held him in her arms, and looked him over. She listened to his chest, and his stomach, and looked in his ears, nose and throat. After the exam was done, she sat down and very calmly said to me, “Well, he looks fine to me.” I started to cry realizing that she was not remotely concerned about the child that had stopped breathing on me until he turned BLUE that morning, and started to plead with her to do the sleep study that our previous pediatrician had done on my daughter. She looked at me calmly, without a bit of concern and said, “The bottom line is that there is no way your insurance company is going to pay for that study unless you had a child who died of SIDS.” I pleaded with her, telling her that WE would pay for the test, if it took the rest of our lives, and begged her to please not send me home with a baby I knew there was something wrong with. She suggested that I was suffering with post-partum depression, and had a counselor from my OB/GYN’s office contact me later that day!

Long story short, I found another doctor. I went home, got out the phone book and determined with one eye on the phone book and one eye on my son to call until I through to someone who was willing to take care of my baby. We got an immediate appointment with another doctor, who sent me directly from his office to the hospital. My son was admitted and within 36 hours we knew that his sleep study showed he was only breathing normally about 20% of the time – far more irregularly than his sister.

What bothers me the most is that there are poor people who with poor diets and the struggle to survive need healthcare, and they are the least likely to get what they need. The doctor in my story knew it would indeed take us the rest of our lives to pay for that sleep study ourselves, and she made money more important than a human life. That is why National Healthcare will be such a major issue for me in the coming election. Wealthy people shouldn’t be the only ones able to afford medical treatment. We treat something that is a necessity as if it is a luxury.

I won’t post a lot about the coming elections, but I will be chiming in from time to time with my thoughts. I’m not sure I’ll ever be endorsing a candidate. I would, however, like this to become a discussion. What issues are most important to you in the upcoming election? Which candidate are you favoring and why? I would even like to hear from some of my international friends about what you think Americans are doing wrong.

As my friend Leslie would say, these are my thoughts.


  1. What a terrifying situation!
    I'm not confused. I'm a through and through Libertarian who votes conservatively.
    Oh, and I just wanted to thank you for the offer you made the other day! Drop me a line @
    Cnewmans at yahoo dot com!

  2. What a story! Shame on that doctor! No system is without faults. Here in Canada we have universal care, which is wonderful usually. We have an excellent GP. There are long waiting lists for surgery, cat scans etc, which can be very stressful in some situations.

  3. Thought provoking! I haven't gotten too involved in the candidates yet, I know who dh is voting for. I found out during the last few years that I'm a libertarian, I want little government, they need to stay out of personal lives. I do not want universal healthcare either, we haven't had insurance in years. I'm sorry about your story that was heartfelt, we had several of those too that insurance wouldn't pay for.

  4. glad I live in canada lol
    at least for healthcare!
    love the new look!

  5. I, too, think I have a Libertarian bent and vote conservatively. I am really intrigued by Ron Paul, who is from around your neck of the woods. My husband went to high school in Lake Jackson (Houston area) with his daughter. I like that he is different than most of the other political candidates who seem to look like cookie cutter images of one another (ideologically). Issues that are important to me.... I'd like to see major changes in taxation. I like the Fair Tax Act proposals that are out there (23% sales tax nationwide with no income or estate taxes, in simplified terms) I tend to focus on life issues (abortion, embryonic stem cell research)

    Then there's foreign policy... I'd like to see leadership that asserts U.S. sovereignty, tackles immigration issues, avoids one world government type actions that seem to be creeping up everywhere.

    I'm reading a fantastic book that I think you might enjoy called Crunchy Cons.. by Rod Dreher. There's a link on my blog, I think. If it's at your library it's worth a read. He asserts that there is a breed of conservatives who look nothing like the average free market Republican. There are chapters on food, home, and education that I know would resonate with you.

    Happy Political Season and thanks for the comment you left me. I felt cyber-hugged for sure.


  6. Let me start by saying that for the past 14 years we have had no insurance or expensive insurance that covered precious little. I am not thrilled with the insurance options that are available and health care costs are outrageous. There is certainly a need for some reform in that area in our country. BUT. . .what do those politicians spouting "national health care" actually mean??? Take a look at countries that have national health care.

    "We got an immediate appointment with another doctor, who sent me directly from his office to the hospital."

    Halfmoon girl says there are long waiting lists for things that are not general practice. Would you have gotten an immediate appointment in Canada?

    I spent 7 years living in a country with national health care and the medical field is a nightmare. You do not want to be seriously ill in Romania. Their doctors are all underpaid. Paying doctors "under the table" is a standard and accepted practice if you want to get anything done.

    I don't get very political on my blog but I can become very passionate and adamant when it comes to the topic of national health care. Before you decided to vote for a candidate on that issue, please find a country where national health care is working for them. If Canada has long waiting lists, think what we'll have. Our population far exceeds theirs.

    So far, I am not thrilled with any of the candidates. I hope they come up with someone else.

    Let me end by saying that you are always my friend! I hope I haven't been offensive here.

  7. To Karen:
    Of course you are always my friend – I value your opinions. I don’t understand how national health care works – or doesn’t work necessarily – but I do think we need some major reform in this area. I have gone to church with a woman who had a mass the size of a football and never told anyone in her breast and her cancer was so extensive they couldn’t do anything for her by the time she went to the doctor.

    I worry so much that time and time again you hear stories like this about people who don’t get the medical care they need – and for what is touted as the best country in the world – it is pretty sad. Nobody should be hungry or without a doctor in America.

    I am not impressed by any candidate just yet either. There are some that I am unimpressed with - 

    I hope we continue this discussion – it helps me think more clearly, and everyone is invited.

  8. You do love me! Lol!

    I understand your thoughts with the issue you had. I too have been in that situation, more than once. However, I also know that I on't want to have to wait for treatment, because others who are chosen by a board to be more worthy than me or my family to receive care, are higher on te list. I have closely looked into other countries that have socialized healthcare and I don't like what I see. The statistics for people dying due to treatable illnesses, but are not high enough on the list to receive care is staggering! Many doctors who live in countries and are involved in socialized healthcare speak out against the system.

    MY bottom line, is there truly an answer? I do not know. I like parts of what others have to say, but I think a big issue would be to control the cost of medication. For those of us on matainence drugs, this is a costly expenditure each month. Thanks for posting these thoughts. I am more inspired to look further into it.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥