Below this paragraph begins the response I wrote this morning to an invitation to express my thoughts on our nation’s health care issue. The company extending the invitation to me (to all members) is one with whom I hold a “supplementary” policy to assist with hospital costs should I ever need them. The policy is affordable, and whereas it may not save me from losing my home if I end up with hospital costs, having the policy gives me a measure of psychological comfort. I am able to “feel” that someone cares! (The company representative combed their offerings for something that would match my situation. Due to my age, I do not qualify for any ‘real’ coverage; and due to my years in Canada do not have sufficient quarters to qualify for our federal ‘senior’ version for several years to come. I am forever grateful for this company’s effort on my behalf, and for the affordable supplementary it has been able to offer.)
The bottom line most principled question individual citizens must ask is: Should we, as citizens, support social development of basic quality health care for each and every individual, or should we develop a system that will not cover each and every citizen? Which is it?
For me, with thorough exposure to the Canadian version (40+ years as an adult in Canada), this is a “no-brainer”. The most intelligent way we can strengthen capacity of each and every citizen to contribute to their families, communities, and nation is to do what we can to see that everyone is as well as possible.
When we examine how this can be accomplished, drawing from experience and effort in countries around the world, we discover that “non-profit” systems, usually funneled through single payer administration, is hands-down the most effective approach devised so far.
All arguments to the contrary, all “what if… the government becomes a monster”, and additional “reservations”, support an answer of “no” to the start-up principled question stated above. All arguments to the contrary are ideologically based in favor of money over health” at their root.
Those who would answer “no” to the start up question have succumbed, many unwittingly, to the “mean streak” that endures in American “each individual should stand alone at every turn of life events” perspective. It is a myth that any human within a community can ever gain success in material prosperity by standing alone. Any honest examination by any prosperous individual of his/her “success” will include recalling times of support from family, friends, networked contacts. (And dare I say: Occassional advantage over another less shrewd?)
Most of these also enjoy, or have enjoyed, employer sponsored HC, at great expense to the employer (and we know how that works in a globally competitive market!)
An honest look at our history will show times when citizens have pooled energies and resources to accomplish that which is needed by the group. We do have an historical mandate to address “the Common Weal”.
The economic truth is: we need people to be well, and we cannot afford to have extra $$ shunted off into profit collecting bins of corporations.
Proposed costs of true and deep reform ignore questions such as “How come we could afford to send our youth off to a dishonest war to wreak havoc on others as well as return deeply damaged, but cannot afford to re-vamp our health care system to cover our own, every single one?” (Who benefited most from the war? Were there profits made? Who made them? And what about previous “necessary” wars of this turn into the 21st Century time?)
I am deeply supportive of American enterprise and the companies that grow out of such effort. I am not opposed to profit. I am not opposed to insurance companies (such as Alliance) making profit in supplementary insurance programs which can be purchased.
I am fed up, however, with the lack of will to settle down and develop/accept a basic health care plan that covers every citizen.
We CAN afford it; and we cannot afford to continually fabricate excuses and justifications that allow continued unnecessary loss of capacity and even life — not if we want to claim some level of enlightenment in our heart/minds, and attend to economic practicality at the same time.
THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK!!! (And I do mean that!!)
Thus spake MaggieAnn this morning! I had an entirely different topic on which to offer thoughts – but universal health care is so vitally important to this nation’s overall well-being that other ideas were trumped.
I might add that I operate out of Colorado, and our federally elected policy makers are showing a great deal of what feels to me like “timidity” on this issue. They appear to be “hoping against hope” that they will either not have to make a stand, or that it will eventually become clear what stand they need to take in order to be re-elected.
Timidity in face of this specific issue (there are others; this one is presently front and center) is not the “American Way” — or is it? We claim not. We “praise” those who put themselves “on the line” on our behalf. … There’s a great deal of inconsistency between what we emotionally like to praise, and what we are willing to do when personally called to take a stand.
Note: I have added an issue today, an expressed concern of fear with possible reform, to “Why I Support An American Public Health Care Plan – Understanding Resistance, Part 2” (Aug 28, 09 – see archive) You will find the addition at the bottom of that post.
Best Weal To You! – MaggieAnn (“wealth” and “health” derive from the same root source — Hmm … those early language users … what were they thinking? !!)