Monday, August 10, 2009

Let's declare war on terror over health care

In the continuing absence of universal access to health care in the U.S., terror abounds. The terror of being uninsured if you become ill, the terror of personal bankruptcy due to health care costs, the terror of pre-existing conditions that prevent obtaining health insurance — all have led to a state of fear in this country. Having reconsidered the previous administration's “war on terror” that led to so much abuse of power and loss of domestic freedoms and so little success in the Middle East, we should now commence a national effort to combat this real form of terror in our own country.

Many have made the case in the past that national security is health care security. Recently, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and others have come to this realization, as well. We cannot field an army without a healthy populace. Our economy cannot support our wars unless we have a healthy work force. In the case of the Pentagon, we do not question the national imperative to maintain our security. We entrust an enormous portion of our taxes to this single, “government-run” agency to defend our country, and we are all proud and grateful for the heroic job that our young men and women do. However, let us suppose that we applied the same criticisms to our national defense that some do to any effort to establish a national health security plan, through health care reform.

Would we say that the government should not run the defense, that anything our government does is doomed to failure? Would we be better off leaving our national military security in the hands of a private, free market, where you buy what you can afford? Would we say to poor neighborhoods and states that, since they cannot afford the same quality of defense that wealthier neighborhoods can, that they cannot be equally defended? Would we encourage the wealthiest neighborhoods to buy the best in private armies that Blackwater might have for sale? I hope not. Let us agree, however, that the national security is integrally related to national health security.

Read it all at the Houston Chronicle

No comments:

Post a Comment