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Leslie Griffith Headshot

That's America Baby

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"That's America Baby" one of my dearest friends said today when I told her the president was about to veto a second health insurance program that would give the nation's children the chance be healthy. What a day for the insurance lobbyists and CEOs. A double header today---with two apparent wins. Both are a sad reflection of what America has become.

Insurance lobbyists and CEOs have been busy. There are two insurance related bills under debate in congress that make me wonder if the insurance CEOs have the same psychological profiles as the CEOs of the tobacco companies who swore nicotine was not addictive. One bill would provide 10 million of the nations children with health insurance their parents cannot afford. The president apparently has the veto pen perched in hand waiting to keep those sick kids out of doctor's offices.

How does anyone justify keeping an estimated 10 million American children from the right to be healthy? Have we really come to this? What do these CEOs do with their hearts as they make their back room promises? How in the world can the president speak the name of a higher power and condone such utter greed and disrespect for life? "That's America Baby. That's America." My friend's sarcasm rings in my head.

What profound irony that the same group wanting to deny health insurance for the nations children because it's too expensive are the same people trying to turn back the clock making abortion illegal again. What twisted logic is that? Keep them alive, then let them die of neglect? "That's America Baby."

The President, I know, doesn't get out on the streets much, but there are homeless and poverty stricken children everywhere. An estimated 43 million Americans have no health insurance at all, they cannot afford it. The middle class is disillusioned and disappearing. Both parents work and there's still not enough money to pay for health care. The middle class citizens who do have health insurance are using it to pay for pharmaceuticals to keep them from feeling miserable. I'm walking to the medicine cabinet now. Many in this nation are heart broken, feel lied to, betrayed, are financially broke, angry at the wars, missing the soldiers and wanting to punch something. They feel helpless to get politicians to listen, so many are turning on each other becoming more tribal than the terrorists.

The subject of terrorism brings me to the insurance company's second apparent victory today. The extension of the 9/11 risk program, which is basically "Terrorism Insurance." If terrorists kill Americans and blow things up, the insurance companies won't go bust and things can get rebuilt. It reminds me of the mid-nineties when black insurance salesmen walked door to door selling burial insurance to the mothers of young black men living in the ghettos. Knowing then that one in five would not live to have a twentieth birthday. Insurance company Motto: get while the gettin's good. But, an addendum added to one version of the terrorism insurance bill provides an epiphanal moment. It would add nuclear, biological and radioactive coverage. Don't the insurance CEOs and politicians understand a world needing that kind of insurance is not a world worth living in? Do politicians really believe that if a nuclear bomb goes of, we wipe off the dust, get reimbursed and go about our daily lives? Not too many people would want to live in a world that needs that kind of insurance. Let's talk about ways to eliminate conflict, so this ridiculous kafkaesque environment ends some day. Ever heard of a insurance company sponsoring a peace conference? Step up to the plate guys. I'm desperate for understanding from the powerful here. Hence the baseball line. Some Americans may not want health care for children, but a baseball strike still brings the country to its knees. "That's America baby."

So here we are: living in a country that is so hated by the world and driven by it's own greed; lobbyists are spending millions fighting for higher deductibles on terrorism insurance. The insanity certainty makes me want to check out like most of the young people I know. Go live on a mountain and wait for the inevitable. But, I can't. I'm fighting hard to stay present. We have to or nothing will be left for our kids. We have to keep asking, where are the schools teaching tolerance and diversity and making sure hate is abated? Without that, all the insurance in the world won't save us from much of the worlds contempt.

Why not care for our children and give them health of body and health of mind by educating them. Perhaps if we invested in our children now and taught them tolerance and conflict resolution, the need for terrorism insurance would not exist.