I had a close call today. Maybe the closest call of my life. I was walking across a street and someone ran a red light. There was no traffic. The light had not just turned red. I have no idea why it happened. I was in the middle of the road actually looking in the other direction. I saw the car out of the corner of my eye and literally ran for my life. The car actually brushed my pants leg going by. It was probably going 50 or 60 mph. I shudder to think what a couple less inches would have meant.
I found a place to sit down and I shook for 45 minutes. Try as hard as I could I just shook. I am probably still shaking a little just thinking about it.
What happened to me was an aberration… someone not paying attention, someone on the phone, maybe someone drunk…. I don’t know.
But a few minutes ago I started thinking. What if the risk to my life was not the result of a personal aberration but the direct predictable result of governmental policy. What if, in effect, I had been chosen to die?
In a few days the Speaker’s Task Force will present their proposals to Washington DC. The early word is that it will come no where close to closing the coverage gap. It may get coverage for Veterans certainly something overdue. It may offer insurance to those with mental health diagnoses…. again something long overdue. But…
Unless they fit into one of those groups no one in line to die will be asked to give up there place. The cancer people will once again go to the wait for ever line. The heart people, those with any chronic life threatening illness will all get the same message. Wait right here.
What happens when you run out of wait? What happens when there is no car to outrun, what happens when threat is everywhere? What happens when you are left out of the line for life?
We all know. It is the same answer countless Tennesseans have gotten for years. It looks again like this will be what conservative principles will lead to. Everything I have read says it is almost a sure thing.
Do we rejoice that at least someone gets something? I honestly don’t know.
I think about the car and how close I came. And I wonder what to say to people crossing that same intersection every day of their lives.
If death is to remain the official policy of the state of Tennessee I have to wonder if we are not all the loser.
Just my thoughts.