I am writing to encourage readers to support efforts to offer health insurance for all Americans. I want to bypass arguments that have been made by experts on both sides.
This is a guts and glory appeal.
We need to address the health insurance issue the American way: Determine that we will do the right thing. With right on our side, figure out how to overcome the obstacles. Make it work right, rather than whimper about some imaginary doomsday.
Access to health care is a most basic human dignity issue. I believe that we lose dignity and humanity when we do not insist on it for others. I do not believe that guaranteeing dignity to people takes away their desire to pull their own weight. I believe a cloak of dignity is the undercoat to a suit of armor, which gives us the determination to make own way.
If you are unswayed by the love-your-fellow-man argument, then please consider supporting the health care reform for your own benefit. Hopefully, you and your loved ones will never need it.
But I can assure you that you will encounter human beings throughout the community who do need it. What about the service people who come into your home? You will breathe the same air and touch objects they have touched.
A few years ago at a local doctor’s office, I had an enlightening conversation about who does not have health insurance, before this became a political issue. I was there with my 89-year-old father, who was getting excellent care from the government-run program known as Medicare. He admired a photograph of the nurse’s children and inquired about them.
The doctor’s nurse told us of a recent illness and then told us that, ironically, she and her children do not have health insurance. It was not offered by her physician employer. My vulnerable, elderly father sat there, under the protection of a paper gown, while she administered medical procedures and let us know we were among the “lucky ones.”
We can do better than this.
We Americans do not need to accept the defeatist prophecies of people who say reform will ruin our health care. Those people, obviously, do not have the confidence in America that I have. I believe we can make a health care system that will be the envy of the world.
We just have to summon the will to do it.