The Slip-N-Slide Predicament
I woke up to see this triumphant headline on the New York times:
Yes! I thought! Finally! Moving forward! Debating on the Senate floor! There are no obstacles now! Then I looked down at the next headline:
Hey American governing body: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Health care has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions for me, like an abusive relationship that slaps you, apologizes, then makes you pay out of pocket insurance costs. Up and down, back and forth, I’ve watched the debating as only someone who’s been chronically hospitalized can. I cheered for the House bill, I railed against the arguments that Public health care would be so effective it would run privatized care out of business, so we shouldn’t do it. I’m on the verge of exhaustion, which I can’t afford to have under our current system.
Health care is a lot like a Slip-N-Slide.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since I got a free Slip-N-Slide from a production at work. I know, I hear you thinking: that’s awesome. Josie, you are the epitome of every kid in the 90’s dreams.
I acknowledge your envy. Who of our generation didn’t want a Slip-N-Slide? Hose it down, slide across, have hours of fun, reach speeds of up to 10 MPH while on your tummy. Some would even whisper rumors of friends or cousins who went so fast down a Slip-N-Slide that they were able to fly across an entire backyard.
So you tell everyone that a Slip-N-slide is great, you dream about a Slip-N-Slide, and then one day…you’re invited to a Slip-N-Slide birthday party. You’ve died and gone to Slip-N-Slide heaven.
And when you get there, you discover that the Slip-N-Slide is a great way…to rip off your skin as you try to slide down a plastic tarp that is never wet enough or slippery enough to let you go more than a foot. There’s long lines, you barely get wet, the slide part crumples up and bunches and twists away from your body. You’re basically flinging yourself on cold, hard ground over and over; essentially a land belly-flop.
And ROCKS. No matter where you put your Slip-N-Slide there are always rocks.
You go home, bruised and sore and bored. Your friends who were not invited eagerly gather around you.
“What was it like?” they ask in hushed tones. “What was the Slip-N-Slide like?”
You try to think back on it, but now, away from the rocks, all you can feel is your friend’s eyes watching you. Waiting for you. Judging you, for any kid who doesn’t like a Slip-N-Slide cannot be trusted.
“It was great,” you say.
And that is the American Health System of today. We love it, we’re excited for it, we can’t wait to brag about our advances to all the other Countries. But when we need it most, it gives us rocks. So we hide our cuts and bruises and red tummies.
For if the Slip-N-Slide isn’t that great…what else have we been wrong about?