Redeeming the promise of America through Universal Health Care

People of Federal Way, People of King County, People of Washington State, People of America, there is no more important thing on my mind than the health care initiative being debated in the corridors of our government nowadays. I am pausing today to talk about an issue that is as important as the environment: health care for the millions of Americans who are either under insured or uninsured. Finding the solution to the thorny issue of cost, if we ever get to the stratosphere of providing universal health care for all God’s children, Jews and Gentile, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Baha’i, Unorthodox and Orthodox (my apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), will be a minor issue. Whenever there is a will there is a way, so goes the saying.

Listening to Governor Gregoire talk to KUOW/NPR yesterday in their ‘meet personalities in government’ program, gave me an eye opener: It will take us everything to get the universal health care initiative through the congress this second time around. She said she is about to visit the other Washington to confer with President Obama, to help move the initiative through the doors of the high and mighty. She says, we appreciate what the Clinton Administration did for health care, though not much, but it is now time to pull the bull by the horn and find solution to the ever rising cost of health care for all Americans. My deduction from her interview with KUOW/NPR is that the promise of America, at least with respect to health care, has not been realized for most Americans.

So where do we go from here? Tentatively, no one actually knows. However, we are going to need more conviction, courage and dedication to this course, if we are to win the current debate. We need a conviction in a health care system that does not discriminate on the basis of economic status of any American. As good as capitalism is, it often leaves behind the weak, the least privileged, and allows the winner to take all. As much as I love our capitalistic system, it has wrecked a structural crisis on the health care system. Apparently, the reality of life’s events is that death and dying happens to all. Without a healthy population, without patients receiving attention from doctors, nurses and all the medical personnel as soon as they need one, we all suffer ailment and death, whether poor or rich. That is the crust of this debate. We need a health care system that does not short-change anyone because of their employment status or bank statement.

Today, we need the courage to tell our congressmen and women that all Americans deserve and expect affordable healthcare coverage. Each American is an individual with one form of health status story or another. Some have lost their life savings, homes, and probably have filed for divorce and bankruptcy due to the unyielding cost of health care service. A healthy America is a productive America. We must inform those Americans who currently are against affordable health care for all, to put themselves in the shoes of a family that lost their homes or file for bankruptcy due to excessive health care cost and obligation.

The truth of the day is that we need affordable health care for all because it makes economic sense. Providing affordable health care for all Americans is not only a practical thing to do in light of current economic dispensation, it is probably the only thing that makes economic sense. Let us restructure our health care system and fund it with a conviction that we all reap the benefit of a healthy population. When people are healthy, they work hard and pay more taxes to the government to overcome whatever deficit that is so much the prerogative of those who would like the system to stay as it is.
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