Healthcare is a topic that dominates much of contemporary conversation. The Obama administration appeared particularly instrumental in generating more opinions on the topic from the black community and other demographics “othered” by ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Notably, Obamacare, in execution and name, implies that Obama cared about his constituency—an ideal countered by the actuality of the healthcare bill. A man whose symbolism superficially uplifted the black collective, former president Obama illustrates how symbolism often distorts the message, in satiating the need for the oppressed to believe in something seemingly larger than themselves.
In discussions of healthcare, it is obvious that for many, maintaining Obamacare is important to because it bears the name “Obama.” For many, to destroy Obamacare is to destroy the former President’s legacy. Regardless of what side you are on, healthcare maintains a prevalent place in colloquial and professional settings. Having come of age in a world where healthcare underwent extensive changes, I do not remember a world where healthcare was a requirement. As the offspring of two city workers, healthcare wasn’t something my family and I worried about. We visited the doctor regularly for physicals and had dentist and eye check ups yearly. I was even covered until I was twenty-six years old for medical and dental. Health, seemed caring. There was no hassle about money or fees.
As an adult, I now view my “coverage” differently. I now see that my fictive comfort was merely “massa” ensuring that his (or her) plantation workers remained of value. I now see that my “care” was merely upkeep to ensure that one day I would be fit to join the plantation.
Those not bearing the pseudo security of prominent plantation jobs, have reduced “care.” Instead, their capitalistic employers ensure that black wages return to the itchy palms of white supremacy.
Moreover, to the black collective, health seems anything but caring. To the insured healthcare embeds a hidden meaning, to the uninsured healthcare instead accompanies hidden fees, not to mention the extensive insurance check offices conduct prior to your visit to ensure they receive compensation for even the most menial tasks. As a facet ol capitalism, healthcare fails to care about anything besides the power of money
Healthcare is a white supremacist battle of greed, in which the black body is a casualty bludgeoned by sky-high premiums nearly impossible to afford on a part-time salary or minimum wage job. The middle-waged individual or working poor, functions to benefit capitalistic America in one of two ways. Either you pay an unfair premium for minimal service and hidden fees, or incur a charge on your taxes. This capitalistic world functions to penalize the black not seeking government assistance or the financial gluttony of white wealth. Supporting Obamacare is supporting a practice counterproductive to the well- being and advancement of African people.
Thus, conversations regarding healthcare remain misplaced for the most part. Namely, black loyalty seems quite misplaced, as the burden of having to pay a high premium or be fined during tax season, throws salt in the would of the economic disparity that hovers over our collective. Obamacare, therefore should be repealed as it benefits the insurance companies, not the insured. Obamacare “cares” about the insurance collective, not the individual and certainly not about black bodies.
Realistically, healthcare has always been within arms reach to the wealthy, whose visits to the physician are replaced by doctor visits that promote vanity not vitality. We live in a capitalistic society, so money as the gateway to superior healthcare does not sound outlandish—but does discount the concept of health “care.” Is health truly caring if solely capitalistic?
The answer is surely no. Given that most black people are not wealthy, this means that access to quality health care is out of reach for most. But given that color dictates quality of life, economics, and everything else on a global scale, healthcare is a minor worry of the black collective.
I say this to say that conversations surrounding healthcare overlooks the issue at hand. Everyone should not be required to have healthcare. To put the care back in healthcare, healthcare should be provided. But, being a black person, healthcare whether bearing a physical cost or seemingly costless, will never be without fault or threat to the black body.
Historically blacks were given healthcare that was overtly free but covertly costly in pain, and sacrifice. Thus, the concerns of healthcare with regard to blacks, is not solely based on cost. Given the extent of black exploitation at the hands of whites, blacks can only receive proper care from conscious blacks who desire to maintain quality of life for the black collective.
Furthermore, healthcare remains a white conversation, and another racist act in the white plight for continued domination.
This domination cultivates a “hell” in healthcare for blacks. Despite it’s first four letters suggesting healing, this term depicts how the coerced language of abducted Africans sounds one way but means another for those subjugated to maintain white supremacy. As blacks, our health or care will “heal” the global epidemic of racism, because to whites black health or care will never be a global concern unless it benefits the white collective. It is because of this that I can’t help but see former-president Obama’s healthcare initiative as an act of deflection. Former President Obama, as a beacon of hope to many, enlists support from his mere affiliation to the act. In focusing on premiums and tax penalties, the black collective shifts away from the medical mishaps that dominate our past and present. From Fanny Lou Hamer’s involuntary hysterectomy, to the countless black bodies in the contemporary setting diagnosed, mutilated, murdered, or coerced into surgery in which they are robbed of cells, body parts and body organs—the black body illustrates the “hell” not “care” of healthcare.
Rather, healthcare illustrates the black body as insurance. Insurance that the current Republican Party will use in a similar manner to which the Lincoln administration used slavery. Although many attribute Lincoln to “freeing” the slave, he formally ended the institution to reinforce his own initiatives and displaced blacks into an informal slavery once the message finally reached them two years later. Similarly, the current Republican administration attempted to eliminate the Obamacare for what will surely be a similar manifestation of capitalistic motives. Black bodies are the insurance that white supremacists use to ensure their continued supremacy. Insurance, is defined as follows:
a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality.
The black body, in its systemized abjection insures that white supremacy remains constant in a global context. The black body proves that “healthcare” is just another means to ensure that reparations remains a hollow term, and our bodies—dismembered, mistreated, and mutilated— remain aboard a ship to which the black collective has never truly exited.