A nihilistic, nasty, and cruel healthcare bill that would have hurt millions, including members of my own family, failed in the House of Representative because it was not cruel enough. To this we have descended. I have two thoughts about this.
First, Republicans cannot govern because they do not believe in government. In their fantasy land, everyone takes care of themselves. We have no collective society with collective needs, such as education, infrastructure, healthcare, environmental protection, and so forth. Even Republicans who begrudgingly agree that some of these things require our collective attention remain loathed to pay for it. It’s an odd mindset. To defense we can throw untold billions, but everything else does not matter.
Second, as a country we have to think of defense as more than just bullets and bombs. Defense against disease is just as much a national concern as defense against external threats. More people will die of cancer and heart disease than terrorist attacks in this country. Yet we willingly spend billions on defense and allow healthcare to fend for itself. Ugh.
Our biases revealed themselves most coarsely during the whole Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Why should I have to pay for mammograms? Why should I have to pay for prenatal care? I don’t need them. Really?
We can’t have a strong economy without a strong, healthy population. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Thus, healthcare needs to cover the needs of all citizens. And as a taxpayer, I’d rather tax money go towards mammograms than munitions that sit idle.
The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, was just a first act. It’s cumbersome, ptolemaic in the extreme, but it has provided millions with healthcare that did not have it before. Now we need to move forward with true, universal, single-payer healthcare in the US. Medicare for all. We have to cultivate the idea that healthcare is a right. While individuals can make their own choices on how to live, a just society should provide quality healthcare for everyone. Many countries do so without a qualm.
My country does not because it allows the worship of money and greed to overpower everything. Thus, those that have get, those that don’t die. That is our healthcare system, a recipe for death. It does not have to be this way.
© 2017, gar. All rights reserved.