Trust Us... We Need Health Care Reform
We wholeheartedly support the President’s push to have
some form of healthcare reform passed as soon as possible. Those
pushing against action now, or ever, seem to be basing their
opinions on either fear or a deep level of political cynicism
that doesn’t even take into consideration the issues of
health for our populace.
We’ve lived up here long enough, over several decades,
to know that something has to be done to better the options
we have to take better care of ourselves. We’ve watched
HMOs come and go, along with rural hospitals and health systems
that have been left teetering by an “industry” that
rewards bigness and business-like efficiencies over the human
concerns you would think all doctors’ Hippocratic Oath
would push them to protect. Either one pays for one’s
own healthcare or works for local government, in many cases,
placing the burden for care on local taxpayers. A lucky few
work for companies that provide actual benefits… but their
numbers are dwindling.
There were times when the ideas behind what remains of our current
system made sense… When most jobs offered coverage, when
co-pays were a rarity and not the norm, and when the cost of
our prescription drugs were still manageable. But things have
changed, and keep changing. Few people find either the offer
or lure of longtime, let alone lifetime employment, on their
plates anymore. More importantly, the health problems we now
deal with are being recognized as being lifestyle-related, and
prohibitable instead of simply prescriptive.
I have dozens of friends and family who have gone overseas for
treatments involving fertility or cancer, macular degeneration
and dentistry. Because their incomes don’t allow them
the luxury of medical care here. I also see growing rates of
diabetes and breat cancer, infertility and infectious diseases
including influenzas and climate-related matters such as Lyme
or West Nile diseases growing ever more prevelant.
Why do those who ask that we tackle such things as a society,
and not simply one by one, have to be lampooned and demonized
by those afraid of financial change? Are not our ideals still
a measure of who we all are as a civilized people?
Yes, there are problems inherent in all of the systems that
have been brought to the table in our current health care discussion.
But at least they’re being recognized, and can be worked
with once we’ve started in a new direction. And all seem,
to us, better than the mess we currently have. We believe and
side with the President when he says that inaction is unacceptable.
As for the complaints about we as Americans becoming more like
Europe or Canada in this process, less capitalist and more socialist…
Is this really a fault line? How many of those making these
complaints have spent time in Europe and Canada, or most other
countries around the world where the lives of all citizens are
cherished, at least when it comes to getting a chance at some
modicum of shared healthiness? And what is so bad about those
worlds where history and the life of a society are lovingly
maintained, where people keep time for each other, and where
the drive for competitive success doesn’t trump all else?
We think it good how Europe has pulled together in recent years,
how Canada works as a multilingual confederacy, and how so many
other nations progress with quality of life trumping matters
But we digress… our main thought just now, considering
health care, is that we are approaching and discussing the issue
in a wrong-headed fashion. How can we allow people over 60 to
talk about the dangers of our shared futures without allowing
anyone under 30 to join their discussion in any meaningful way.
Yes, our seniors are responsible for a majority of our health
care costs and worries, and will be the major recipients of
whatever changes occur regarding it over the coming term. As
will the entire Baby Boom generation. But it will be our young
who will be paying for whatever changes are made. And to tell
you the truth, they are not the ones complaining about costs
and deficits as much as those seeking change.
Do we not trust our young to make a world better than ours?
To take whatever world they are given and strive to keep what
they love about it alive, and what they want to have happen
It is our younger voters who are pushing for health care reform,
addressing climate change, shifting our energy priorities, and
creating new systems with which to go forth. Sure, our political
systems are slanted towards older men, with a few women thrown
in. Senators tend to be over 60 in age, and the House not much
Yet whatever new science leads us forward into brave new futures
will come from those in our educational systems now. As will
many of our economists and political philosophers. Why have
we ceded the discussion of such weighty matters from them?
Remember, after the world wars, it was our nation’s young
who rebuilt the world as a better place. Moreover, to get back
to an earlier illusion, it was young Europe that eventually
rebuilt itself from catastrophe into the workable world that
exists there now.
Shift the dialogue, then. But don’t postpone it. Suffice
it to say that we can’t merely block the changes in health
care, and other systems, that we need anymore. Set them in motion
and then trust that we will work them to our best advantage,
to our nation’s and world’s survival. We in rural
areas need something new and different.
Trust, in other words. We can only move forward if we finally
stop cowering in fear.