BY SHARON MARTIN
What do our representatives have against insurance coverage for all? Why would a legislator who receives benefits from the Farm Bill choose to cut the food stamp [SNAP] program, knowing that 98% of the people in Oklahoma who receive food aid are children and their caregivers, the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor?
Why are elected officials, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, and Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA, lying to the American people about the Affordable Care Act? Who benefits if people are denied medical coverage? If children go hungry?
Nothing is going to change in this country until the poor people – that’s most of us, folks – get sick and tired of being bamboozled. We need to educate ourselves about the truth, and we need to stand against greed.
The bamboozlers wouldn’t get away with the cheating and the lying if so many of the bamboozled didn’t go along.
I have a dear friend who takes in stray dogs. She will drop anything to take care of a friend. Her hospitality doesn’t extend to the hungry and the uninsured, however.
“I’m tired of paying taxes to feed someone who won’t work,” she says.
I’ve seen the numbers from the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Few people get SNAP in Oklahoma who can work but don’t. I tell her so. She doesn’t hear.
“I work hard for my insurance,” she says.
I’m married to a man who has been self-employed his whole life. The self-employed have to find their own insurance, if they can.
Then there are people who earn minimum wage. Many of them work as hard as she does, but they can’t afford insurance.
With the Affordable Care Act, things will improve for the self-employed and the working poor.
How do we explain to those who are afraid they’re paying someone else’s way that it is not only a Biblical imperative that we treat each other with kindness but it is better for us all to do so?
How do we make it clear that until the 99% band together, the 1% will take everything they can get their hands on. They are doing it now, not only with our permission but with our help.
In the book of Hebrews, we are told that we must be kind to strangers, that we may be entertaining angels.
Let’s feed the hungry, ensure access to quality healthcare, and provide decent education to the next generation. Let us, as Lincoln said, entertain “the better angels of our nature.”
Together, we can do what is right.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer