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William Rivers Pitt | An Open Letter to All Breathing Republicans

Friday, 08 November 2013 11:54 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed
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Hospital hand.(Photo: MTSOfan / Flickr)You, Mrs. or Ms. or Mr. Bulletproof, are sick.

But you feel fine, you say? Bloodwork normal, all tests clear, no lumps, no limps, no memory lapses, no problems at all?

Wait a while. Live a little longer. Sooner or later, you will make the list.

According to the American Medical Association, more than 81 million people currently suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 11 million people currently suffer from some form of cancer.

According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 24 million people currently suffer from diabetes; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that half of all Americans could suffer from the disease by the year 2050.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that some 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or lupus, 21 million of whom are disabled due to the condition.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Americans are currently afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, a number that will shortly spike as our aging population grows older.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, some 400,000 Americans currently suffer from MS.

According to the National Parkinson's Foundation, between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's are diagnosed in America each year.

The CDC estimates that close to a million people a year become infected with herpes.

More than a million Americans are infected with AIDS.

Some 79 million Americans are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a disease that causes cancer in both women and men.

That, right there, is more than half the country.

That, right there, is you. Sooner or later, and sure as sunrise, you can count on it.

If you're not sick right now, you will be, so if you're one of the people fighting the Affordable Care Act, wouldn't it be an example of enlightened, conservative self-interest to make sure this law is as robust as can be?

I know, I know, Democrat socialist Kenyan no-birth-certificate president and all that, plus Benghazi for good measure, but seriously: he's going to be out of office in three years, and for sure and certain you're going to get sick someday if you aren't already. The ACA makes sure your insurance company can't shaft you if your inevitable illness becomes too expensive for their balance sheet.

How is that not conservative? For the love of God, the whole idea was created in the first place by the Heritage Foundation before getting successfully road-tested by a Republican governor. Once upon a time, that kind of policy pedigree was worthy of a parade in Republican circles.

You are almost certainly going to get sick at some point along your personal timeline. This is unavoidable, and while your guns may give you a degree of psychological protection from ominous neighbors in hoodies, you can't shoot cancer, or stroke, or dementia, or diabetes...and one of these days, one of those things is going to ring your doorbell, and that's your ass, financially, if you're not covered.

The No. 1 reason for bankruptcy in America is medical expenses.

If you're not sick, you will be, because we are fragile creatures all.

Please stop deploying Denial-of-Service tools to disrupt the process.

Please stop forwarding flatly deceptive articles about "Obamacare" ruining lives.

Please take some time to understand why a very small percentage of insurance policies are getting re-defined or cancelled. Cliff Notes version: those policies didn't cover anything, and the insurance companies involved were pretty much basically stealing.

Please read the Book your party has claimed sole ownership of.

Proverbs 31:8-9 says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Matthew 25:41-45 says, "'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'"

John 3:17-18 says, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

Of course the Affordable Care Act is fragile. All things human are, including you.

Especially you.

For you will be sick one day. It is inevitable. Unavoidable. We are made to ail, to suffer, and to die.

Enlightened self-interest is the Republican way.

How are you feeling today?

Think about it.

This article is a Truthout original.

William Rivers Pitt

William Rivers Pitt is Truthout's senior editor and lead columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.


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