In my opinion, nobody came out a winner in the government shut-down.  Every elected leader should be sent to time out, or sent home.  Too bad we can’t impeach the lot of them.  Yes, I also have an opinion about who acted the most like three-year-olds.  (“The I won’t be your friend and I’ll never “play” with you again”, group)  I know my three-year-olds.  But no one has the moral high ground here.  I’ve said it before, let me say it again.  Our system of government is broken.  It doesn’t work…for the people or by the people.  Most days it seems to me it is irrevocably broken.  I hope that isn’t true.

I wasn’t alive (or at least old enough) to understand the significance of social security or medicare.  I know, from reading the papers now, it was greeted as something that would sink our country.  That hasn’t happened and it seems to me that most people would be loath to give up those programs today.  I know, that the man who mows the lawn at work and tries to support his family, will now get health insurance.  He is a legal immigrant.  He works hard.  He too, wants to provide for his family and have them healthy and safe.  It is not a perfect law.  I will say that again. It is not a perfect law.  But it is a start.   It gives us a framework to work within to make the law better, more equable.

For all of my working years, health insurance has been an issue.  I had to beg the church I worked for to allow me to be on their health plan, even though I was “only” the church preschool teacher/director.  I’ve been through the COBRA business and then having my chosen policy company pull out of Illinois.  I was then forced to take a higher priced policy, simply because it was the one who would accept their customers without penalizing them for pre-existing conditions.  It has been arduous, frustrating, frightening and expensive all of my working years.  I have hopes that this will level the playing field for me and many others much less fortunate than me.  That to me seems the “right” thing to do.

My friend, who is a chaplain in an area hospital, thinks this will help them.  The poor come to their ER because they don’t have insurance or a doctor.  They don’t can’t turn them away but you and I and her hospital all bear the cost of those poor uninsured people.

I learned something else from the paper this week.  Raising our debt ceiling doesn’t necessarily raise our debt.  It allows us to pay our bills.  Bills that comprise the budget.  The budget that was voted on by Congress and has special interest add-ons…added by many…of both parties.

I am cynical that this does anything but ‘kick the can down the road”.  I fear in three months we will be right back where we were two days ago.  Right back to the partisan posturing.  If that happens there will be losers.  The American people will lose.  We will all be losers.

No winners…no losers…for now.