I had e-mailed one of my healthcare professors and asked him if he could speak about the new healthcare bill and what it meant for us and for elderly people (the topic of that class). I got into class and he thanked me for asking that question and began addressing the bill. However, he didn’t address each part of the bill, he didn’t address what it would change, but he addressed the ethics, the philosophy, the morals of what it means to have healthcare reform.
He made a couple of great points. He talked about how there are people who are pro-life, but don’t support a bill that would require thousands of people to have health insurance to save their lives. He informed us that the U.S.A. is ranked 30th in the world for infant mortality rates (some websites say 47). This alarming statistic is proof that we are not a perfect country as far as health care goes. He stressed that it is human nature that we don’t like change. When we think something works, we don’t want to change it. But the problem is…. it doesn’t work as well as we think. [If you have the time, watch this documentary SICK AROUND THE WORLD on how other healthcare systems work, some better than the US.]
My professor quoted Kennedy who wrote to Obama before he died “What is the character of our nation?” It is important that when we think about the politics of healthcare reform we realize that it shouldn’t be about hidden agendas, or political victories, or money. It should be about saving lives, providing the best care we can give. Unfortunately, that isn’t what this debate has come down to. And that’s sad.
It’s sad that people can call the president of our nation a baby-killer, point fingers, and spread false rumors while there are thousands dying because they can’t afford their health care bills; while there are thousands without homes because they can’t afford their health care bills. Understandably, there are probably a lot of things going on behind the scenes that deserve accusation. But I think Americans and politicians have forgotten about the true nature of healthcare. It saves lives. It saves lives in a nation founded upon the declaration of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
As much as some people may “hate” Obama, he was right when he spoke about CHANGE. And people are so afraid of change that they won’t hear of it. People need to think more carefully about the need for change when they begin to shut down every aspect of reform without even hearing what it will change, how it will affect them, how it can make America better than it is. Politicians need to put down their own agendas and look into the eyes of those families struggling with healthcare bills and tell them they are going to ease their pain. Maybe this health care bill isn’t everything it should be, maybe it has problems, but it is a step in the right direction. With all of its political turmoil, it is a call for change, something we should not be afraid of.