A True Story (Identities masked)
Mary K., 24, unmarried, with a degree in accounting and a good yet not career job in Cambridge, decided to go back to school for her master’s degree. A routine physical check-up revealed a tumor near her womb. It did not appear cancerous yet surgeons at Mass General could not guarantee that the operation would not include a hysterectomy. Having always counted on a family, she was devastated and went home to Montclair, NJ, to tell her parents. They insisted on a second opinion, so she went to Sloan-Kettering in New York City, where a surgeon famed for this operation, gave a completely different prognosis; he guaranteed no hysterectomy, “the big H.”
Greatly relieved, she then faced costs. Having left her job, without health insurance and not covered by her parents, it was completely beyond the pooled resources of her entire family until she mentioned that she’d been working in Cambridge. Although she had an apartment there, her permanent address was New Jersey. Nevertheless, she was covered, and even though the care would be in NYC, the Massachusetts State health plan completely paid for the surgery. The operation was a success.
Mary and family became huge fans of Mitt Romney and Romneycare, but are now in a quandary. The Romney running for president repudiates his most stunning achievement, along with about everything they thought he’d stood for as governor. They hear each of his radical right proclamations with dismay. What happened to the thoughtful moderate Republican who had seemed to illustrate the benefits of a two-party system? Has the Republican Party moved so far to the radical right, that there is now only one centrist party? And what kind of character has a man who can flip so completely, denying all he’d once seemed to stand for? The last question is especially disturbing.