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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Affordable Care Act, "Obamacare," and the Power of Words

Last night, I was reminded of the power of words. My love for words is obvious, as evidenced through the title of this blog and the compulsion to write my novels and memoir. I love their power. The depth of conviction and ideology that can be relayed. Their demonstration of passion, logic, compassion, and honesty. They can also reveal prejudice, hatred, and ignorance. But without them, we cannot express what is important to us. Protect those we love and demonstrate that love. Words are gateways to vast worlds.

So I spent last night with some powerful, life-altering words. I read the Supreme Court's opinion on the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). Not what people are writing about it. Or saying about it. But the actual opinion. And I read the actual bill. Not all of it (because of its length), but I looked at the specific provisions that have people shouting obscenities at their neighbors and decrying the end of the republic. I read the actual bill and the Supreme Court's opinion because I want to be informed. I don't want people reducing such landmark legislation to soundbites that I bite and devour with my own ideologies as tasting buds. I want to truly understand what happened with the passage of the bill and not rely on people with agendas to shove their interpretations down my throat.

I know how polarizing this bill is. I've seen the debates it's inspired--which is good. Thoughtful discussion is always good. But I've also seen people argue and yell and even curse over this bill. I just ask that if you want to pound your fists, please actually read the words of those we chose to govern us before stepping onto your pulpit. Because the truth is, whether you like it or not, all three branches of government--the three branches that our constitution and ourselves rely on to provide checks and balances--all approved of the bill.

The point of this post isn't to instigate debate or the hateful bantering I've seen in social networking. I simply wanted to remind of the power of words. Because as I've watched pundits discuss Robert's opinion and Congress's passage of the bill, I'm reminded of the power of words. Not only in how the three branches of the government we so dearly love and defend protect the provisions of the Constitution, but in how it inspires us as a people to examine and clarify who we are individually and as a nation.

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