A Sensitive Subject

The only people I have any sympathy for right now are Senator McCain’s kids. Bottom line: they’re going to lose their father. I don’t know what their relationship with their father is really like, once you get behind the obligatory political facade, but you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Per the New York Times, the median survival for glioblastoma is 12 to 18 months. That means the odds are 50-50 that they’re going to lose him before the 2018 elections. No matter how they feel about him, that’s not something anyone can skate past. It will mess up their lives.

And nobody beats glioblastoma. With all due respect to Presidents Trump and Obama, saying “He’s a fighter,” and suggesting that McCain can stare down cancer is a slap in the face to everyone who’s died of cancer.

I know my biases are showing here, but I don’t give a shit. I lost my father to cancer less than a year ago, and to hear anyone implying that he’d still be around if he’d been stronger makes me want to run amok with a baseball bat.

Bluntly, what kept Dad alive was medicine. Medicare, in particular. Yes, a positive attitude and doing what he loved helped. But it was radiation treatments, chemo, and a whole slew of medical personnel that made the difference.

So to have McCain come to the Senate practically straight from the hospital and vote to continue debate on a plan to take medical care–the same medical care that’s keeping him alive–away from millions of people is following up the insult with injury.

I disagree with him politically, but I’m happy to agree that Senator McCain’s done many things worthy of respect. His vote Tuesday is not one of them. Nor does his “no” vote on the “skinny repeal” make up for it.

Unless he publicly and explicitly commits to vote against any proposal that will raise premiums or strip insurance coverage from even one person–and then follows through on that pledge–all the pretty words he gave us Tuesday are meaningless.

I’ve lost a lot of respect for McCain this week, but even so, I sincerely wish him a long life. For his children’s sake. And, I hope, for every child who will gain or keep medical insurance as the result of Senator McCain’s actions from now on.