"I've been inspired by the tenacity of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. His recent reflections in Newsweek make clear that social justice must be the underlying principle for healthcare reform, an idea LIVESTRONG seeks to embody, just as he has throughout his career. And there's a lot of reform that needs to happen. Despite the fact that the U.S. spends more than any other industrialized country on health care, we do not achieve better outcomes on leading health indicators like infant mortality and average life span. Too many Americans live without health insurance (and I was once a member of that club). Too many people don't have access to care. It's simply inexcusable.
I know mountain climbs pretty well. What President Obama and others are encouraging in the United States with healthcare is a tough climb – no doubt. To Senator Kennedy's point, though, we have a chance right now to initiate a major shift in our healthcare system. If we succeed in making a significant and substantial change, it will be the first in three generations. It is the common expectation in many countries that every citizen should have access to quality, affordable healthcare, part of a moral investment in social justice. Why not in the United States as well?"
23 July 2009
On Healthcare Reform.
Not to jump on the bandwagon, but this struck me as a pretty succinct argument for reform:
You can read Lance's whole letter here on his site, but I think he brings up a lot of good points. We, as Americans have the attitude that we can (and will) do anything and everything better than everyone else. Of course, we don't always reach these goals, but we have always had the mentality to strive for them and work hard to make them happen. Isn't that what the "American Dream" is all about?
So why does better, cheaper, safer healthcare for EVERYONE not make this list? Why are folks so opposed to it? Why is there resistance? Is it the (likely) misconception that making it accessible to all will lessen the quality? That isn't the case in Europe. Is it that many don't want their 'hard earned' dollars to go towards higher taxes that may be necessary to implement this?
Let me just say this, I am beyond lucky because I do work at one of the best hospitals in this country, and I get my healthcare here with low insurance rates. I do not know what it is like to be uninsured. I do not know what it is like to have a serious health issue (knock on wood). But I do know that if I were in either of those positions, I wouldn't want to HAVE to work at a hospital to get good cheap care. I should be able to get that if I work at a gas station, as a teacher, a fireman, or as an artist. It shouldn't matter what I do or how much I get paid to do it. My health is no less valuable than the CEO on the other side of town or the slacker living off Daddy's big money just because they can afford it.
There is a way to make this work. It will take creativity, less pull from special interests (Pharmaceutical Companies, Insurance Companies and Litigation-Happy folks out there- I am talking to YOU), and hard work. But if the entire European Union can do it, WHY on Earth can't we? Answer: We CAN. And we should. NOW.