Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Spread The Health" Health Care As A Moral Right

One of the most frustrating things about the health care debate going on in this country right now isn't the about idiocy of "death panels", "socialism" and "government takeovers". No, it's about forgetting one simple thing. 

The Golden Rule. 


And this, I had to be reminded of from a film critic, of all people:

I believe universal health care is, quite simply, right.

It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn't deserve it. A nation is a mutual undertaking. In a democracy, we set out together to do what we believe is good for the commonwealth. That means voluntarily subjecting ourselves to the rule of law, taxation, military service, the guaranteeing of rights to minorities, and so on. That is a cheap price to pay.

How did we lose sight of this? More importantly, how did Barack Obama? For all the talk of "bending cost curve" and CBO scores, how is it our Teacher-In-Chief missed the most important message of all?

Maybe that's about to change:

President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.......

In a late-afternoon telephone call with religious leaders on Wednesday, Mr. Obama cast the difficulty of the health care debate in terms larger than his presidency, comparing it to the creation of Social Security and Medicare.

“These struggles always boil down to a contest between hope and fear,” he said. “That was true in the debate over Social Security, when F.D.R. was accused of being a socialist. That was true when J.F.K. and Lyndon Johnson tried to pass Medicare. And it’s true in this debate today.”
I believe in my heart that most Americans do believe that access to adequate health care should be a right, but I also believe that most Americans are scared to death to lose what they already have.

The Republican spin machine knows this too, and has made an industry playing to American's worst instincts. 

This toxic atmosphere allows to idiots like Whole Food's CEO John Mackey to feel they can get away with saying that Americans have no "intrinsic right to healthcare, food and shelter" without fear of retribution. 

So yes, I still have some hope that we can play to American's best instincts and not their worst. 

And if I have to take my lead from a film critic to make that happen, and not a President, so be it.

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