As a disclaimer, I am not an American citizen – and thus an observer at worst and obnoxious commentator at best.
However, If I could vote in this country, I would vote in favor of universal health care every time.
I base this on:
- The fact that the majority of the developed world believes that access to health care is a fundamental human right
- Health care is a costly undertaking that will ultimately cost everyone money one way or the other
- I know several people who legitimately cannot live healthy lives based on their circumstances in the status quo
Today, President Obama signed a sweeping health care reform bill into law. I am not so naïve as to think this this bill in it’s current form is even close to “the answer” that is needed with respect to this issue. But it serves simply as a foundation on which the US can finally build a system that allows a core level of security when it comes to their health and the repercussions of circumstances that any American can find themselves in.
What does is say about a nation to be easily the wealthiest of all time and yet not provide a basic security to it’s citizen’s in this regard? What does is say about our character to allow citizen’s to lose everything because of medical bills? Why do we often choose liberty over life? Why is “give me liberty or give me death” a noble proclamation?
This process has had an interesting history.
We are fickle frontiersmen.
When we first began began the debate the thoughts of inclusion of a “public option” stoked the fires of socialism. How dare the government expect me to pay my hard earned money to pay for the health care of another human being!
Now that we’ve lost it the cries are accusations of voiding the constitution. How dare the government require me to pay a free market enterprise money to protect my and my fellow citizen’s well-being!!
There is no way to win.
Except to realize that we are all in this together, as cheesy as this sounds. At the level of basic human rights when we are forced back out of our self-indulgent, capitalism-induced cocoons and thrust back into community. This is a state of living that we have somehow forgotten on our push to reach the top of the food chain.
Community is where living takes place. Where rewards are sometimes intangible. Where the cost of sharing life with others is often higher than facing life alone but far more worthwhile.
Community is where we’re all better off. Where I’m not gaining at your expense. Where I’m better for my contributions to your life you’re better for contributing to my life.
I’m glad this bill has passed.
I’m anxious to see how it develops.