Health Care for All

I’ve got a moment to chime in on the big issue this week: Health Care Reform. I’ll try not to get overly worked up about it, but must confess a great deal of impatience & frustration.

As a society, supposedly civilized & democratic, can we profess the simple, fundamental social responsibility that everyone is covered? Accept this first, then work out whatever system is able to do the job! I’m not the one to figure out the policy but I can state a value. A caring society cares for all. That ought to be simple and non-controversial. A kind, compassionate society does not leave its children & seniors, the weak & under-privileged, and the people who do the hardest, dirtiest jobs vulnerable to a market crap-shoot.

Sadly, we want to pretend to be Christian, Buddhist, kind, whatever, while retaining power, privileges, wealth and the other spoils of our “successes.” We don’t want to admit, from the start, that we really don’t care all that much for people who are out of sight & out of mind, especially people who are different or might make us feel guilty. So we pontificate & pretend.

KISS: Kindness & honesty will make a happy society, while power, privilege, & wealth perpetuate suffering. It really is a simple choice.

The complexity is in working out the details, which is because we’ve created a complicated society. Nonetheless, the fundamental choice — kind & caring versus selfish & hardhearted — is simple.

The talk about “reform” has grown wearisome, partly because we seem to have accepted high levels of non-caring, selfishness, profiteering, injustice, and poverty in this country. Few people — especially politicians — want to admit this; we seem to prefer delusion to honest self-assessment.  Are other societies better than us. I don’t know. But let’s put to rest the myth of this being a Christian nation — if Christianity is a religion of love. The hardheartedness of many believers whose loving kindness only extends to their family & others like them has done far more to damage their religion’s integrity than the secularists and pagans (like Buddhists).

Let’s keep asking the question: What can we do so that everyone is cared for? That should come first. Then figure out how to pay for it — stopping wars, might help! Please don’t get these backwards.

Stop allowing blowhards & wingnuts to derail the conversation w/ tripe about “death panels” and “socialized medicine.” President Obama is a committed capitalist & few in the Democratic party even know what socialism is, except as an attack word favored by Republicans. Enough partisan garbage mongering. Any politician who is so biased, dishonest, or foolish to believe that stuff should not be allowed at the table. Send him to a corner till s/he can behave.

To be continued …

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One Response to Health Care for All

  1. elarson says:

    Here, here, I totally agree.

    My partner Rob, Santi’s brother-in-law in Holland, has had a very serious medical situation the last 3 months. He was in intensive care for 10 weeks and is still in the hospital now (13 weeks). When he leaves the hospital he will be receiving excellent rehabilitation, probably for another 4-6 months, and home health care as needed after that.

    In all this time, never have we been harassed about paying bills. Basic medical care is enshrined in Dutch law, and it is something I can count on in these very difficult times. It is paid for by a combination of private and public via insurance, of which all are required to have.

    Although I have my “gripes” with the medical system, overall I feel that he has received very good care. Most of my issues have more to do with culture than medical care.

    In my view, medical care is like democracy — there is no perfect system. Having any kind of a system is far better than having nothing. How a country treats it’s most vulnerable, the sick, shows a lot of what it is made of. It’s time for America to give basic medical rights to all it’s citizens!

    N.B. I am open to debate and questions, should Santi feel it appropriate on his blog.

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