ACA

Trains have always been an intricate part of my life! It was the summer of ’65, at the age of 10, I sat waiting for a train! While waiting, I took 8 different numbers off of 2 boxcars on the train. Those numbers were programmed into my brain, and to this day, I still remember them! I frequently use them for passwords. My sister knows them by heart because I need someone to remember them should I expire.
Fast forward to Spring 2008. The writing on this particular boxcar intrigued me! As I drove back to work from my lunch break, I waited for the Illinois Central and the Southern Central Freight to pass through Hammond, LA! Written on one of the boxcars was the resounding statement, “kill the poor”! Mine eyes did not see the Glory of the Coming of The Lord! What they did see was a complicated challenge from someone who defied everything Jesus Christ stood for.
The statement reminded me of an old Hank Williams, Jr. song, “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”! Hank Jr. sings of his momma getting ran over by a damned old train! Rewind eight years earlier, my mother passed away on September 22, 2000! Momma received SSI, and because she was bi-polar, she qualified for Medicaid! Her family was hard working taxpayers, so that she could thrive! She died of a common illness, Thyrotoxicosis. Her blood test showed early on she was suffering from thyrotoxicosis! She was to be treated on the very day she died! If this was any indication of things to come, I had to get busy. I contemplated how many towns that boxcar ran through! I contemplated how many people had lost their lives because they were poor! “Kill the poor”! Fast forward to ’14, we are now engaged in a war of words between Republicans and Democrats! The subject? Healthcare reform! The ACA is designed to deliver affordable health care to everyone in the United States. According to the news media, ACA is a debacle! Republicans want to repeal and replace it, but have no idea what to replace it with. Now the Republicans framed ACA, and the president passed it through Congress, and the SCOTUS upheld it as law. Republicans have voted to repeal it 55 times.  The leader of Louisiana refuses to expand Medicaid for the poor! He is not involved in exchanges that will allow those who have pre-existing conditions to shop for quality affordable healthcare. He dreams and aspires to be President of the United States! Does he realize there are more poor people to cast votes than there are rich people and their money? Does he know what Matthew 26: 8-13 says, when the woman washed Jesus’s feet and anointed His body with perfumed oil? She was preparing him for burial! 8: When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9: “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10: Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11: The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12: When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13: Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.””Kill the poor”! Matthew 11: Jesus said, “the poor will always be with you, but you will not always have me”! Does it really matter what some disturbed mind wrote on the boxcar of that train? Governor Jindal, “if you believe what Jesus said, the poor will always live among you, no matter your decision to prevent them from affordable health care. Ask yourself, does Jesus live among us now? In conclusion, I can hear the Doobie Brother’s lyrics to “Long Train Runnin”

Down around the corner half a mile
from here see them long trains run and you watch them disappear

without love where would you be now
without love

though i saw miss lucy down along the track she lost her home and her family and she won t be coming back

without love where would you be now
without love

well the Illinois Central and the Southern Central Freight you got to keep on pushing mamma you know they’re running late

without love where would you be now
without love

well the Illinois Central and the Southern Central Freight
you got to keep on pushing mamma you know they’re running late

without love where would you be now
without love

when the pistons keep on turning and the wheels go round and round
and the steel rails are cold and hard and the moutains they go down

without love where would you be now
without love

Sharon Sparacello

(c)

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