Health Care: What’s Really Changing
If you pay attention to the world at all, no one needs to tell you that the times they are a-changin’—rapidly.
Recently there have actually been glimmers of hope for humankind. You might be asking where? For me, it’s where it looks the most chaotic and “terrible.” I have friends who wonder about that but what’s also more clear these days is it takes a lot of different approaches to move us to the kind of country that truly represents the ideals it was founded on. Here’s why I think it’s working.
There are some patterns or shifts emerging that don’t get a lot of attention underlying today’s news. To me they look hopeful.
That’s not to say that some don’t have plans that could, like the recently defeated health bill, cause suffering and unnecessary deaths. I just don’t think those forces will ultimately triumph, and not for political reasons.
In the middle of seemingly bad news that appears to be creating more chaos and making things worse, I think that chaos is what also helps move us closer to what the majority of us want—a sustainable and humane way to live together in the world.
The recent health-care drama is a great example of many of these patterns or shifts I’m referring to. One of the most obvious is that government requires openness. With the attention it is getting right now, keeping secrets seems unrealistic. Who supports what and why is clearer. Hidden beneficiaries and graft are revealed almost daily. Doesn’t it take that kind of chaos to make it obvious to enough people that change is necessary?
It almost looks like it’s time to drop party labels and start saying “here’s Sen. John Adams of Monsanto,” for example. Perhaps listing the top three contributors that support them after their name instead of their state would make identification easier.
If we want openness then we want leaks too, don’t we? It’s chaos-making to some, but shouldn’t we really be embracing that chaos too? If those who should be forthcoming are not, shouldn’t we reward those who expose conflicts of interest and corruption? Aren’t whistle blowers the ones showing loyalty and respect for honesty and integrity?
What’s also becoming clearer is that nobody can really hide anything anymore. Almost anything someone wants to know about someone else is accessible, if they really want to know. There’s little recourse, unless you’re a corporation. I don’t really like that privacy has vanished, for now, but losing privacy is also liable to bring some of these leaders down, too.
For that matter, anyone who wants to can read a book on body language or NLP and can at least get suspicious, if not certain, that something is going on that’s not quite right. People know it more and more when things don’t feel right—and that’s not just in politics.
Closely related to openness is the common reaction we see when someone is exposed and don’t like it. It’s the same old way many think get us what we want—control things and others. Not seeing the directions the world is going in they think exerting more control will stop what’s really a personal and societal shift toward cooperation.
More and more people see that cooperating, not forcing our way to what we want and controlling others, is a better way to coexist.
Some governments embrace control as a mean of self-preservation. In some countries, such as France where people are very willing to take to the streets to tell the government they are not being heard, it’s the government that is afraid of the people. Isn’t it good news that health care, immigration and human rights issues have brought out so many people willing to express themselves? Are things falling apart or falling together or into place? It gets reported as chaos, maybe it’s establishing new order. Besides, when has controlling others really worked for very long?
Look at any relationship that is nurturing and works, and it would be a surprise to find one person dominating another. Has it worked lately to take over and occupy another county? Don’t those conflicts go on forever? This is another pattern that is becoming increasingly clear to so many of us—control and domination don’t work and make us slaves to keeping it in place. So who is the master and who is the slave?
I once heard someone say that one of the biggest ways we can relieve stress for ourselves is to give up the idea that other people should act a certain way. Don’t we see that shift to tolerance around us more and more?
It’s almost like the mother’s love that says “if you really loved me you would xyz—and all the time” compared to, “what you are doing is not my path, but if it makes you happy, great.”
These are just some of the ways a new society and way of being are emerging. Ones that recognizes there is not just one right way.
When commentators tell us what the parties need to do to win I think they miss these shifts. We have a government that doesn’t get this that tries to hide and keep secrets and wants to dominate and force their “right” way when it’s obvious their philosophy is run by the desire for money and power.
Didn’t these shifts show up in the health-care bill fiasco? Americans began to act like the French and took to the streets. That was huge.
Then very dramatically, Sen. John McCain of Arizona was confronted with his own mortality. His position changed. Ironically, the medical procedure he underwent is one that is covered by the ACA. Perhaps he considered what it would be like not to have insurance. Perhaps he couldn’t deny millions of people what he had just received. Whatever happened he became the voice that told Congress to make the health care bill about providing affordable health care to people.
When the bill was finally revealed it was, as suspected, about tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. Many in Congress seem ready to sacrifice people—literally—to make money for themselves and their contributors. No one can really say that what defeated it was a new plan or philosophy, or political strategy or one party—shifts and new patterns are redefining our society and the way we approach life. Politicians and the media may be the last to know.
Meanwhile it’s almost as if many politicians can’t help themselves. They keep stepping in it. And that’s the point. They don’t see how those patterns that define them are becoming obsolete.
Is there a better way to change than have a government that’s trying to go in the opposite direction of the where society is going? It may look chaotic, but people can’t help but notice it—times have changed.