What Your Vote Will Mean for You, Your Family and Your Country

4 years ago

If you're undecided, considering voting for Mitt Romney or thinking about not voting please read this.

Let’s Take Healthcare First

A vote for Romney and the Republicans would mean a vote for a party that has no problem sitting by while sick and injured people die. Or get sicker. Or go without needed medication. Or go broke, lose their homes or go hungry because they can’t afford health insurance. Under Romney’s version of Obamacare, a panel of people who work for the insurance industry would decide who gets health care and who doesn’t. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a health insurance company make a decision in favor of customers when their profits are on the line. Let’s just say it’s rare.

Ballot box, Image Credit: Shutterstock

Under Romney’s plan people will be denied health insurance because they have pre-existing conditions. Are you diabetic? Have you had cancer? Does your child have asthma? Because if you have a pre-existing condition, which many of us do, you could be out of luck if Romney gets his way. See a partial list of pre-existing conditions here.

To clarify, you’d be out of luck with Romney unless you’ve had no gap in healthcare coverage (a gap is considered more than two months). So, it stands to reason that if you’ve been steadily employed and steadily covered you’ll be okay. But if you – like many Americans – have lost health coverage due to layoffs or switching jobs or, well, being unable to find a job (they’ve been scarce, lately), Obama is the man with a plan for you. At least that’s my understanding.

Even Romney is unclear on Romney’s plan, as his campaign has already corrected him on the finer points a couple of times. In fact there aren’t a whole lot of details about how Romney’s plan would work -- or even if he does, in fact, have a real plan in mind. He’s told us he would stop Obamacare, so that much we know. But he has been pretty secretive about what he’d put in its place. Find a very small amount of information here. To reiterate: If you’ve had the good fortune of being steadily employed or if you’re wealthy enough to buy your own health insurance you’ll be just fine with Romney. But if, like so many of us, you’ve had gaps in coverage between jobs or are unemployed or can’t afford to buy health insurance – or if you have a pre-existing condition – go with Obama because: Under Obamacare everyone will be offered coverage, end of story.

By the way, until recently, the United States was one of only three developed nations that did not provide universal health care to its citizens.

Because these other countries know that it’s in everyone’s best interests to care for the health of its people. Healthy people are more productive and happier citizens. Not only is caring humane and ethical, it makes good economic sense.

If given the choice between spending money on war and on health most people would choose the latter. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have caused devastating and incalculable losses in terms of lives. They have also cost approximately 1,387,406,000,000 dollars, so far. (This number updates in real-time so check the link.)

For the record, I am not one of those Democrats who believes war is never necessary. There are times when war is necessary, but as the last option, after smarter, more constructive and less costly tactics have been exhausted.

But many extremists in the Republican party believe its citizens are expendable. They don’t think twice about sending people into unnecessary wars to be wounded and killed.

Can you imagine how much healthier and more productive this country would be had our tax dollars been spent on healthcare instead of battle? Well, you don’t have to. Because people have done the research and here are some of the results.

Or you can plug in your city and state data here. Or here.

In sum, it's clear that money spent on wars would be better spent on education, healthcare, infrastructure and job-creation. These are investments that pay off and that help people.

Do you know anyone who has gotten sicker, gone broke or even died because they couldn’t afford health insurance? I do. More than a few, in fact.

And yet Bush and company decided it was better to send the country to war than to take care of people. Republicans might respond: It’s all in the past! Why are you bringing up ancient history? But the truth is it’s recent history and a major reason this country’s economy tanked. It’s like the Republicans threw a big party, trashed not their own houses but other people’s, trashed entire cities and towns, in fact, woke up the next morning and hightailed it to Monaco. The windows broke themselves! Not our responsibility! Leave us and our yachts out of this!

Romney’s not concerned about fixing anything. Why would he be? He can just hire someone else to install new windows and do the mopping up. In fact, Romney seems to believe that George W. Bush did a great job running the country. After all he plans to invest an additional two trillion dollars in the military instead of in healthcare or job-creation. Romney is perfectly content to continue to sell our country to the highest bidders—Wall Street, oil companies, the richest of the rich—while selling out the middle class and poor.

Now Let’s Talk About Jobs

Republicans imagine regular Americans don’t want to work. They really don’t seem to understand that there is a pre-existing condition for working: jobs.

And sure many of us are developing home industries, doing what we can to make crafts, to make food and sell it, to do everything we can to make a living given the scarcity of jobs in the marketplace. We don’t give up. We are entrepreneurial. We bust our asses paying rent or mortgages and making sure our kids don’t go hungry. But there are only so many hours in the day. And there are very few jobs for a very large number of people. Obviously some investment in job-creation is in order.

But the Republicans have blocked 15 job-creation bills during Obama’s tenure. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they are secretly anti-job? Maybe they’ve already made their money and aren’t worried about you making yours? Maybe they think you’re all a bunch of whiners who don’t want to work anyway? Maybe they’re mad about losing the election and are behaving like six-year-olds because, well, they didn’t want to lose and now it’s time to punish the winners?

One of the job bills the Republicans vetoed, by the way, was intended to provide support to veterans. Veterans. People who have laid their lives on the line for their country. People who have returned to their families with excruciating injuries, injuries that make it difficult to find the will to continue to live, let alone work. How is it that those with the power to send young people into battle in Afghanistan and Iraq lack the power to help those same young people find work upon their return to this country?

Who are we kidding? They don’t lack power. They just don’t care.

How can a party that doesn’t have the backs of its veterans live with itself?

There is this little trend called outsourcing, we’ve all heard about it, some of us have been affected by it. It’s the practice of American companies hiring people in places like China and India rather than hiring people in the United States. And guess what? Outsourcing means lower costs for these companies, it means they don’t have to abide by fair labor practices, it means they pay less or close to no American taxes. All of which turns out to be a very good deal for CEOs and a terrible deal for U.S. workers.

I should mention that it also turns out to be a sweetheart deal for politicians whose campaigns are funded by big corporate money. All those politicians have to do is vote with their wallets instead of their consciences and they do really really well. Everyone’s happy! Okay, well, the 1% and their pals are happy. Who wouldn’t be? With a kickback system like that? All legal and everything.

Bush was a big fan of outsourcing and so is Romney.

And Finally, About the Economy

Some more recent history: The Bush administration lowered taxes and increased spending, which resulted in skyrocketing debt and an economic freefall. They handed Obama a broken country. They handed us a broken country. And then, when Obama tried to fix it, tried to right some of the wrongs, tried to restore some dignity and backbone, Republicans dug in their heels and filibustered and obstructed and opposed every move Obama made. Why? Again, it seems their only reason, if you can call it that, is resentment, pure sour grapes, along with greed, loyalty to big oil, big business and to their own fat bank accounts. Or perhaps the Republicans in power, Romney included, simply don’t understand or, worse, don’t much care how the economy works. For those of you who didn’t click, that last link directed you to the New York Times. But maybe you don’t trust the Times? In that case, don’t take it from them. Take it from Bruce Bartlett, one-time domestic policy advisor for former president Ronald Reagan and treasury official for former president George H.W. Bush, instead. The short version is here: “Starve the beast is a crackpot theory, and its flip side that higher taxes invariably feed the beast is no better. They are just self-serving rationalizations for Republican budgetary irresponsibility.”

Your voice matters. Please vote.

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