Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health Care Reform

I think it's only fair that a blog that blows its social justice horn should at least dip its proverbial toe into the health care reform discussion that's happening in the U.S. right now.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know all of the facts. They're overwhelming. That said, I have a few opinions. I know that not everyone will agree with these opinions, and some of them may even contradict each other, but these beliefs are what form my thoughts about the debate.
1. I think everyone deserves quality health care.
2. I believe that no matter what, we all pay (and have paid for some time) for the health care of the uninsured: through emergency room visits that are "written off" and the costs passed on to the general paying/insured population, through disability and social security payments to people who may not have been disabled if they had received quality preventative care, and through the social costs of having an unhealthy population. The idea that we're all paying for someone else's health care is nothing new.
3. I believe that doctors, nurses, and therapists should be paid well. If my shock at the disparity between nurses' salaries and professional football players' salaries makes me a Communist, then color me red and stick a Cuban flag in me.
4. I think it's ludicrous to bring a firearm to a discussion about public policy. The disrespect that has been shown in this discussion saddens me. (Then again, I have this seemingly unusual notion that people should be treated as human beings, and my heart starts to race as soon as someone boasts about how they let a customer service representative "really have it." This is another discussion for another time, but I think that the Absolute Best Thing My Parents Ever Taught Me was to treat people with respect, especially those in service positions. Maybe, really, this is where my passion for social justice began. Sorry, Daddy-o.)
5. I realize that all of my opinions come from a place of privilege, and I feel so blessed that I have never had to worry about the cost of my (or my family's) health care.

This article is the clearest, most concise, intelligent piece that I've read explaining the facts about health care. It's not written or published by a partisan group: in fact, it's from a British website. The facts contained in it don't shock me, but I think that if they were more widely known, this debate might not be so rabid. Then again, maybe not.

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