Health care reform is an economic issue; it is a political issue; it is a medical issue; and it is most definitely a moral issue.
The wealthy don’t worry about access to health care. Members of Congress certainly don’t. The very poor qualify for Medicaid, a government-run insurance program. The elderly qualify for Medicare, another government-run insurance program.
The middle class is being squeezed out of health care. Sometimes it is because they can’t afford it and must choose between keeping a roof over their heads and buying health insurance. Sometimes it is because insurers are legally allowed to — and do — deny or drop coverage. Let’s face it — denial of health insurance is denial of access to preventive care, and continuity of care that an emergency room can not and will not provide.
How many more gut wrenching stories of the sick and dying do we have to hear before it sinks in? Are these unfortunate souls less deserving than everyone else, somehow less worthy? Do you still believe it could never happen to you? What if someone you love succumbed to a fully treatable condition because they were denied health insurance? Would you find it morally acceptable?
In the United States, we proudly proclaim that we all have the right to an attorney, even if we cannot afford one. No one will go undefended in a criminal case. We take that right for granted. It would be immoral to go around charging people with crimes and not giving them access to a legal defense. Why not offer a similar level of compassion to someone who is ill?
Most middle class people are not looking for a handout. They simply want a fair shake when it comes to matters of health.
As to calls for tax boycotts should health care reform pass, that’s just not how our country works. We don’t pay taxes based on an a la carte menu — I’ll pay for schools and police, but not for defense spending or health care.
The current proposed legislation lacks punch. It doesn’t completely overhaul a system run amok, does not remove for-profit insurers from the equation, does not attempt to cover all Americans, and doesn’t take full effect for years. But waiting for everyone to agree on everything is an exercise in futility.
What it will offer, in part, is health insurance that can never be denied even if you have a pre-existing condition, security after a job loss, covered preventive care, real insurance industry reforms, and tax credits to help small businesses cover their workers.
What we have here is a reasonable beginning. For Congress, deadlines have come and deadlines have gone. Time is up. Pass health care reform now!
To those who say “start over with a clean sheet of paper,” we all know that means it just isn’t going to happen. It would be the death of health care reform for many years to come. Let’s not continue to turn our backs on a very real crisis for a great many people. You never know when it will be your turn. There is a very real moral issue at stake.
From the Petition Site
Congress: Time is up! I expect you to finish the job you started and finalize the package of health care reforms already approved by both chambers of Congress to give me peace-of-mind about my health care and real oversight of the insurance industry.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
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