I got together with some long time friends the other night. I was disappointed and frankly a bit dismayed when I heard their opinions about some of the negotiations going on in Washington right now. Apparently not everyone is as enthused as I am with the hope for universal health coverage coming to the forefront. In my opinion, we are severely lacking in providing healthcare for our citizens and one of the few industrialized countries that doesn't supply it. To my way of thinking a healthy, educated public will help to maintain our world status and will payback any initial cost with better jobs and less illness. Our current system denies basic healthcare and higher education to people who can't afford it and we, as a nation, lose out on that potential. If we maintained the health of our people and gave them education through college or vocational training we would have a happier, healthier and productive society. My friends hate to see the government step in, but the system isn't working without their involvement. We can see our competitors gaining and bypassing us as our present system takes more and more of our dollars to maintain our health. If we leave it up to the insurance lobby and the healthcare industry and the pharmacy companies we will end up with higher and higher costs and less and less coverage (which is what is happening across the country right now). The government needs to step in. Some of my friends seem to be perfectly happy with the status quo and don't want to change what we have. They are worried that the government will somehow mess it all up and end up costing us more than it already does. What we have now doesn't work for many millions of us and is costing us way too much of our production and it is steadily increasing way beyond our ability to keep it under control. Change is inevitable and should be welcomed and monitored.
I see basic health care as something that we, as a people, should provide to ourselves and should use our government as our tool to administer it for us. In this country, we are the government. We choose who we want to represent us and can tell them what we want and don't want. The government is not some nebulous entity that exists without our direction. We actually do have some say in what happens in our country.