What's a Privilege Versus a Right? Health Care Can Be Boiled Down to this Simple Test. Ted Kennedy Got it Right!
I think the best memorial to someone is to remember his/her actions that contributed to making the world a better place to live--even if it's one person at a time. Ted Kennedy came from a family of privilege but advocated for the many who weren't as fortunate as the elites of this country.
Morality is how we treat others, not how one behaves in his/her private domain. Teddy believed that the government of the people should be in place to work for the people. ["by"the people has meant approval and not that the common people of modest means have a good chance of being elected to high office!] It's amazing when 72% of Americans want health care reform that includes a strong public option their representatives in Congress can't seem to get it!
High stake [steak?] game is being played in front of the American public. There's lots of willful misinformation and scare tactics that have nothing to do with a rational discussion on how to reform a broken system and ensure that thousands of Americans don't die & suffer unnecessarily. It does come down to a simple question: is health care (like education) a right or a privilege? I was stunned to hear many Republicans actually say [including presidential candidate McCain] it's a ..privilege!
As for the cost, of course we can afford it if we can afford to spend much more on armaments than the whole world combined! Besides, the skyrocketing of health care costs in the US, under the current system, cannot be sustained. There will be more "death panels"... when insurance companies deny claims for necessary medical life-saving procedures and when they reject people with pre-existing conditions. How can anyone defend such a system is beyond me...
Here's an excellent treatment on this subject, as recently shown on Bill Moyers Journal. Is there anyone who can argue against the main points raised? Honestly, those opposed to health care reform with a public option don't make sense. It's not just a matter of values and priorities--that would be understandable--but those opponents are incoherent. It's a failure of leadership to confuse the public, distort the facts [those facts], and allow Americans to suffer and die.
PROFITS OVER PEOPLE: Video on Bill Moyers Journal. It includes an interview with W. Potter who served the insurance industry for 20 years. The Money Driven Medicine video has excerpts from the acclaimed Critical Condition, "a documentary in which ordinary hard-working Americans tell their stories of battling critical illnesses without health insurance. They discover that being uninsured can cost them their jobs, health, homes, savings, and even their lives."
Here's N. Kristof's (NYT columnist) take on the issue:
Opponents suggest that a “government takeover” of health care will be a milestone on the road to “socialized medicine,” and when he hears those terms, Wendell Potter cringes. He’s embarrassed that opponents are using a playbook that he helped devise. “Over the years I helped craft this messaging and deliver it,” he noted. Mr. Potter was an executive in the health insurance industry for nearly 20 years before his conscience got the better of him.
I hope that Kennedy's death can serve as a catalyst for meaningful health care reform that includes a strong public option.
Oh, by the way, Mr. President: FORGET TRYING TO GET BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT. IT WON'T HAPPEN. Get this damn thing passed with 218 in the House and 50 in the Senate! YOUR LEGACY SHOULD BE A GOOD REFORM NOT A COMPROMISED AND INEFFECTIVE LAW WITH REPUBLICAN SUPPORT.