Churchill’s argument was this”I have heard it said that the government had no mandate such a doctrine is wholly inadmissible. The responsibility for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate!”
And there is the essence of what this is. What, on the eternal list of priorities, precedes health? What more obvious role could government have than the defense of the life, of each citizen? We cannot stop every germ that seeks to harm us any more than we can stop every person who seeks to harm us. But we can try dammit and government’s essential role in that effort facilitate it, reduce its cost, broaden its availability, improve my health and yours, seems, ultimately, self-explanatory.
We want to live. What is government for if not to help us do so? Indeed Mr. Churchill, the responsibility for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate! And yet today, at this hour, somebody somewhere in this country is arguing against, or protesting against, or yelling against health care reform, because the subject is really life and death, and they’re scared, and they have been scared, and they have been mis-led by the overly-simple words of one side, and misinformed by the overly-complex words of the other side.
I just watched the video from yesterday’s edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann…It was riveting. Keith dedicated the entire program to a “Special Comment” on Health Care Reform. You really should go and have a look.
Any one who has visited this blog should not have a question in their mind about my stand on this issue. I would argue strongly for a single payer plan, and have in the past (just ask my wife). Like Mr. Olbermann, I find the state of health care in this country insulting.
I have spent thirty years of my life living with a women whose biggest fear is that her children will go without the false security provided by having a health insurance policy. To be precise, we found ourselves pinched for funds at a time in our life when our fourth child was expected, when we were forced to transfer our insurance procurement from her job to mine. It was that change in employer supplied subsidy that did us in budget wise. So I know what it’s like to be “insurance poor”. Being in a situation where you can afford insurance, and you have it, but the very cost of having it puts you into a downward spiral of being in the red…At such a point it doesn’t take much to send a family over the edge and tarnish dreams for decades. Just to put it in perspective, before we lost her insurance it was costing us about $50 per month for the family (this was about 1989). Shifting to my employer’s plan was a change to $350 per month. Added to the loss of my wife’s salary, this was more than we could adjust for…It took us years and years to overcome the deficit we built up in just a couple of years.
Last year when I was laid off after 35 years, we were forced by the cost of Cobra to roll over to my wife’s insurance for the first time since that episode above. In order to continue with our insurance plan we would have had to come up with right at $1,500 per month. So now, she works mainly to keep us insured. Because of the way insurance companies work, we are both aware that at our ages, we would be hard pressed to get a private policy we could afford. We no longer fall into the age and health bracket the insurance companies covet. So now we are, once agan, insurance poor. Only this time it’s not the cost in dollars, it’s the cost in job sanity…
I do not care what your politics are…Take a few minutes and go listen to Mr. Olbermann. Investigate…Read…Anything beside Fox and Palin…Go sit in an emergency room waiting area and watch what goes on in this countries primary physician for a lot of people…Think about how you want to live…
As Mr. Olbermann so elegantly puts it…
We must reform a system that lets my father get better care than yours does, or better care than Mike’s daughter does, because by the accident of life, I make more money than he does, or my checkbook can hold out longer than his does, or yours does, as the bills come endlessly like some evil version of the enchanted water buckets in Fantasia.
The resources exist for your father and mine to get the same treatment to have the same chance and to both not have to lie there worried about whether or not they can afford to live!
Afford to live? Are we at that point? Are we so heartless that we let the rich live and the poor die and everybody in between become wracked with fear — fear not of disease but of Deductibles? Right now, right now, somebody’s father is dying because they don’t have that dollar to spend. And the means by which the playing field is leveled, and the costs that are just as inflated to me as they are to you are reduced, and the money that I don’t have to spend any more on saving my father can go instead to saving your father that’s called health care reform!
Death is the issue! How can we not be unified against death? I want my government helping my father to fight death! I want my government to spend taxpayer money to help my father fight to live and I want my government to spend taxpayer money to help your father fight to live! I want it to spend my money first on fighting death. Not on war! Not on banks! Not on high speed rail!
Spend our money, spend my money, first: on the chance to live!
Spend my money…Please…Let’s get this done…Now!