A lot of people have asked my opinion on the recent round of health care reform, and I have to admit I don't have much confidence that we are going to get much done. The way I see it, everyone debating health care has made up their mind before coming to the table, and is shouting their opinion so loudly, they can't hear the other side. I see images of people on Medicare, a government health plan saying that government health plans would be an abomination and should not be allowed to exist. http://www.nj.com/ledgerlive/index.ssf/2009/08/health_care_reform_town_hall_n.html
I see citizens holding vigils and protests, and opponents pay no heed or accuse them of greed. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/sep/03/supporters-hold-vigil-health-care-reform/
At one protest, an Obama supporter actually bit off a man's finger! http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hAkLGsyNutX4LzUQhcc2zUSHXqYgD9AG37B80 Fortunately, the man's health care was paid for by Medicare.
I honestly don't think all of the shouting will amount to anything, but the truth remains, that is our American way. We debate our country's business in public, and every voice, no matter how stubborn or ornery has an equal right to be heard. I bet we would have a plan in place already if we were in a country where policy could be enacted in secret, but that is not our way. For my part, what I think we need to decide is if we believe that we citizens have a right to the benefits of health care, or if it is a privilege for those who can afford it. Day after day I take care of children regardless of whether they have insurance or not. Everyone who works in an ER in this country does the same. It's kind of hard to achieve the inalienable right to pursue happiness for ourselves and our children without health. I'll bet most Americans feel this way about themselves and their families. It isn't too much of a leap to listen for a moment and realize that our neighbors feel the same way we do, and we should pull together to make sure no one gets left behind.
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