My life-long exploration of human nature creates “urgings from the well” to support an American Public Health Care Plan. Along with my powerful inclination to support such a plan, the same interest (life-long exploration of human nature) causes me to explore resistance.
For perhaps no better reason than curiosity, I want to understand why so many citizens in the United States, including in positions as policy makers, seem so firmly planted in their objections. So much so, in fact, that they allow themselves to utter ‘anti’ arguments that are either patently untrue, or lack depth.
First: Why do I support an American Public Health Care Plan – which I define as specifically geared to provide access while also specifically turning away from any profit motive.
My first, and bottom line reason, is one of Justice/Compassion. I use capital letters with these because of their fundamental nature in human consciousness. They are hard-wired attributes. Bottom line principles of our consciousness. Justice and Compassion are as innately a part of the human psyche as are any urges to compete and conquer. The impulse to behave with Justice/Compassion appears early in life – as my young elementary classroom students demonstrated to me time and again in their responses to moments when these were demonstrated (or when events they perceived as without Justice, without Compassion, transpired.)
You should see the faces of young children when they distinguish between noble/ignoble actions! For one thing, children appear alarmed, stressed, disappointed when they witness lack of Justice/Compassion. Children hope against hope that the adult world will behave with Compassion/Justice, and do not understand “social/political nuances” that prevent such behaviors. (And we wonder how it is that young children become bullies and worse!)
So – I repeat – my first and bottom line reason for supporting an American Health Care Public Plan that sets profit motivation aside, is that there is a call within us to care about each individual who, like ourselves, is conscious and alive. This care must include care of health, as it is with our health intact that we best serve ourselves and one another, and best manifest whatever talent, contribution, each is suited to bring to the human sharing table.
We may one day relate to one another as the global human family which we actually are. In order for this to come about, we have got to pay attention to inner thought, inner motivation. We have got to understand that being ‘hard-wired’ to demonstrate power-over one another may be true – and we have got to balance this with an equally true type of hard-wiring – to allow cooperation, compassion, and justice, to emerge from their cowering place within our psyches.
From my point of view, we have spent perhaps 10,000 years practicing innate impulses to exert power-over, to conquer others and relate to them as ‘objects’. In all this time, we have had, from time to time, writings and teaching that has suggested there are alternative ways to organize our social/political structures. These writings and teachings are universal – are found in cultures across the globe. We even pretend we believe in these alternatives! We espouse them, we attend religious services about them, we sing about them, write poetry, and so on.
But – without noticing, without examining ourselves, we ‘separate out’ this set of ‘noble attributes, reserving it for moments when it is comfortable to practice them.
One may often stand in a momentary context in which a choice can be made – to act with compassion/justice, or to make a power move, to conquer. Economics is very often used in a “power-over” context. It may not be true that this is required; it may not always “go with the territory”; but it is often true that we relate to personal and broad group ‘economic health’ as a matter of comparison – asking, do we have enough, can we acquire more, who/what situation can we ‘milk’ for the sake of acquiring more? This line of questioning about money, about economics, is thoroughly entangled with “power-over”, with “conquering”. This line of questioning dis-engages the part of our psyche that would prompt us to serve Compassion and Justice*.
If ‘money’ is stripped to it’s essential function – a means of exchange in order that we do not have to carry baskets of chickens around for barter purpose – then its essential function can be understood as one of “efficiency”. The bottom line function of “money” as a means of exchange is that it is efficient. Efficiency in money matters is my second reason for supporting an American Public Health Care Plan. If we accept that each individual is as remarkable in innate, inalienable, attributes as any other; and if we accept that each individual is able to better function by his/her inalienable attributes to the extent that she/he enjoys good health; then we need to ask: “As a society, how can we best ensure this?”
We want access to quality health care for all (because, remember, we agree on the worth, the value, of each – don’t we?). We want fair wage/salary compensation for practitioners and all support personnel in a health care delivery system. We want maximum efficiency** for dollars spent. This seems plain as day to me – we can’t have some of the dollars drained off into coffers intended to accumulate profit!
So my second reason to support an American Public Health Care Plan is that when we get down to the real dollars and cents/sense of it – We can’t support a for-profit system. We do not have extra dollars in individual pockets, or in whole group pockets, or in employer pockets, to sustain the dreams of those who would make profit collection their goal in delivery of health care. Boats, cars, television sets for profit – not inalienable worthiness of individuals, not their physical well-being in this 3-dimensional existence in which broken bones actually can occur.
(*It is worth noting what I mean by “Justice”. Justice with a mood of vengeance is not justice at all but is pure vengeance. I am not proposing “oh you poor dear” attitudes toward perpetrators of injustice, or those who commit horrendous crimes. First Nations “Justice Circles” come to mind as promoting genuine Justice, paired with genuine Compassion. But that is a different topic also!)
(**It occurs to me to launch an exploration of “orientation toward efficiency in resource management as also ‘hard-wired’ within us. That is a different topic!)
(See Why I Support An American Public Health Care Plan – Part 2)