Senator McCain and Healthcare

This week, Senator John McCain of Arizona, having just undergone surgery for an aggressive form of brain cancer, returned to Washington, DC, to participate in the ongoing healthcare debate.  As an individual who has long served our country in both the military and the government, Senator McCain has access to the best healthcare that is available in the U.S.; nevertheless, his current medical condition will likely be fatal, perhaps within the next year.

Last night, Senator McCain, a Republican, cast the deciding vote to shut down his Party's dysfunctional efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare).  No doubt, his own healthcare crisis played a major role in the Senator's decision to take a compassionate stance, thereby preventing Congress from stripping healthcare coverage from millions of Americans.

Receiving the diagnosis of a fatal illness focuses the mind.  One tends to become more empathetic and less judgmental.  Faced with mortality and the complications that illness can bring, we more easily appreciate the hardships that others endure, many of them already dealing with the ravages of poverty.  McCain's willingness to stand up to the folly of his colleagues was surely fueled by both his innate courage and his personal tribulations.