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Jonathan Del Arco Headshot

The Tea Is Making Us Sick

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It's hard to infuse humor into a topic of such serious consequences as health care and a government shutdown but if you want to have a good laugh I'm sure you can go online and find a clip of Sen. Cruz reading "Green Eggs and Ham" on the Senate floor in the middle of the night. The point of the children's book is about not judging something before you try it, a point that was completely lost on him as he plunged head first into a one-man crusade to stop Obamacare, before we try it.

Also, for a good chuckle, check out the photos of him kneeling in prayer in front of the White House. But wasn't it Jesus who cured the sick? Maybe the point of that book is lost on Ted Cruz as well.

But enough about that Canadian. I'd like to talk about another immigrant family, my own, and our experiences with the health care system. In 1976 my father uprooted my mother, three siblings and myself from a relatively happy life in Uruguay and brought us to the United States. He had waited ten years to be able to enter the country legally and he was sure this new land held the promise of a brighter future for his children. Imagine the shock when he got here and realized that there was no way for him to insure us!

My baby sister, only five at the time, had suffered from seizures all her life. In Uruguay, a relatively poor country, we had health care. But in America, the land of abundance, there were no affordable care options for a family already struggling to make ends meet. With a child with a pre-existing condition our need to have health care forced us into the welfare system. It was as simple as that.

Millions of American families are living this scenario right now. Or worse they are uninsured and having to choose between medicine and food. Or waiting until something really bad happens to their health before going to a doctor, living with the fear of losing everything if one of them gets sick. The Affordable Care Act aims to change these deplorable conditions and in the most Republican way possible, through consumerism. Reagan himself would applaud this accomplishment.

But that was the old Republican Party the one some of our parents believed in, before the crazies in Congress known as "The Tea Party" held a gun to the head of a spineless Speaker of the House and in doing so held us all hostage to their delusions.

You see their sole objective is to dismantle the government, as we know it. And they have taken aim at the president's key legislative victory, The Affordable Care Act while holding our economy and good credit in peril.

The good news is that the people have spoken in two general elections in which the president ran on this very issue and won. And even though we knew the transition wouldn't be smooth, a majority of us believed, and still do, that having access to affordable health care is in our national interest and so on October 1 millions of uninsured Americans will go online to Healthcare.gov and #GetCovered.

Then hopefully in 2014 we will take a tip from our founding fathers and make ourselves healthier by dumping the tea into the harbor and by doing so form a more perfect union, and when the Affordable Care Act is deemed a success if it will serve to unite the country we can always call it "Reagancare".