Recently the Congress passed and the President signed into law the most sweeping health care package since Medicare in 1965. It was done after many, many years of debate and arguing and hate and lies and mis-information. That said, finally it has been done. The opponents vow to repeal it, but no rational person thinks that will ever happen. It is now the law of the land. The passage of this bill is every bit as big as the passage of Social Security under FDR and the passage of Medicare under LBJ. History was made and there is no way to deny that simple fact. We are moving (as the most ardent opponents claimed) toward a system of free (tax based) health care for all Americans. That is the goal. The question is, is that your goal? Is that what you think should happen? And if yes or no, why or why not?
I personally believe in a taxpayer supported, single payer health care system for all where a person just walks into a hospital or clinic, is evaluated as to their medical problem and is treated for that particular problem, including the right drugs for that treatment, surgery if needed and that there should never be any bill for services of drugs or treatment presented to the patient....ever. I think that health care is a right in America (even if it can be argued that it's not Constitutional (though I believe it it is under "promote the general welfare").
Still, in many ways, if it is or is not a Constitutional right is really a moot point. The thing we need to consider is, is it a human right? It clearly is. While I believe it is a Constitutional right, that really is just a distraction, a side show. It really doesn't matter if it is or is not. There were a great many rights left out of the Constitution. For instance does a woman have a right not to be raped? Of course she does, but can anyone point out to me the part of the Constitution that says so?
So many people seem to be hung up on a literal interpretation of the Constitution (just like with the bible) that they seem to miss the spirit of the document. In the original Constitution any one who was not a white land owner could not vote and was considered to be 3/5ths of a person. Yes, we corrected that through amendments and other interpretations of the Constitution and it's time we did the same concerning issues such as health care and even gay rights.
This document, which I hold in the highest esteem, is a living and breathing and adaptable creature. The simple beauty of it is it's adaptability, it's ability to be seen in new lights as American society grows. It is not cast in iron or carved in rock and it was never meant to be. I have no doubt that the Founding Fathers saw it as a template. A template the should be laid on whatever America became or becomes and be adjusted to fit. It is not a ruler, it is a guide.
In my image of America it is not everyone for his or her self. I don't buy that republican image of America. It is not I got mine and to hell with everyone else. It is not the survival of the fittest. In my America, it is the tens of thousands of small towns across this great country like the one I grew up in. It's neighbor looking out for neighbor. It's friend helping friend. It's the family across the street that you may have only met once or twice if at all and then a storm comes through and knocks a tree on their house or their child is sick or if one of the couple is dying and you take those steps to go to them to offer them help, hope, friendship, food, water and comfort because they are Americans too. Because they are a part of your family. You reach out to them because, in my America, we do for each other.
When a friends slaughterhouse burnt down and they couldn't have kept up with the insurance (and this did happen), in my town and in my America we took up a collection and rebuilt their business. Not because it was just the right thing to do for our town, but because it was simply the right thing to do.
When sitting warm and cozy up to the bar at the local tavern on a cold winter's night and someone came in and said that the Schwartz farm had a barn collapse from heavy snow, the gathering together of chainsaws and food and coffee and muscle was not "every man for himself", it was automatic. It was just what you did because, even if you barely knew Lynn Schwartz (and I did), you knew he couldn't continue to farm, to continue his livelihood, without those trapped cows. It was the right thing to do.
Health care is just like that. I have great health care. I have wonderful insurance coverage, but that's not the point. There have been times in the past when I didn't have any coverage at all and that may happen again in the future. I wish I could include those of my friends who don't have as good of health care coverage under my plan and this legislation gives me a chance to do that, because I know (or hope) that my fellow Americans would and want to do the same thing for me if and when I need it.
Do everything you can to extend health care to those who don't have it. If you must do it because it's the right financial thing to do. If that doesn't move you then, depending on your religion, do it because it's the Christian thing to do. If you are (as I am) an atheist, then do it because it's the American thing to do. No matter your motivation, do it because it is the right thing to do and you know in your heart it is.