SHOULD WE CARE IF
EVERYONE HAS HEALTHCARE?
Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars, battles and skirmishes combined. Yet, in spite of the historical human disease record, American media continues to ignore its implications, in the growing U.S. national healthcare debate.
Some plead we should care about the less fortunate, as indeed we should. Others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for healthcare than any nation, yet we are ranked 37th in healthcare quality and farther down in statistical availability. Some former Soviet block and South East Asian nations have better healthcare; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.
Over 43 million U.S. residents have zero health coverage; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage. More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems. Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid healthcare and long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.
Depending on the provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while only 1% ¹ for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us. Very plainly, private healthcare as we currently have, is not the solution.
Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America's security, while continuing to ignore our immediate healthcare reality. Right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.
People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income. And they clearly don't understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage or, what can and will happen to their own children if their neighbor's children remain uncovered.
In reality, less than 1% of all U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs. All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs, dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.
Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation. Disease has no boundaries. Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy. Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.
Scientists claim that our planet is way overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons will not protect us against the onslaught of human disease. And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.
Is it fair to say that any United States citizen that does not push for immediate affordable and adequate healthcare coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders is decidedly, unpatriotic? Is it fair to say they don't even care about their own flesh and blood? You decide.
1. Various sources provide different figures, depending on what is included as overhead not related to patient care. Some give a 22-26% cost for private care, compared to 4-8% for Medicare. However, statistics strongly demonstrate that Medicare costs far less than private healthcare to administer; reasons include high cost of no-bid medications, advertising, stockholder dividends and inflated executive salaries. Lies heard on Fox News and conservative talk radio about how much more poorly run and expensive our healthcare system would be if it were a national-payer system such as found in European nations, are just that, absolute outright lies, having no basis in statistical or other reality.
2. World Health Organization; 2005 statistics.
3. World Health Rankings.
4. CNN.com June, 2007 SICKO fact check--W.H.O. 2006 and U.S. government 2007 health statistics.
5. Historical Sources: The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant; Encyclopedia Britannica--United States of America and various other historical and health-related articles.
6. Biblical Sources: Matthew Ch. 25--According to Jesus, God will judge nations by how they treat their sick and poor; Ezekiel 16:49--According to Ezekiel, God destroyed Sodom for being a proud and wealthy nation that did not take care of her own sick and poor; 2nd Peter 2:6--According to Peter, Sodom is an example for all nations to take heed concerning and, a nation that does not help her sick and poor is an "ungodly" nation; Isaiah Ch. 3--According to Isaiah, God will cause inept leaders to arise in nations that go the way of Sodom and fail to help the sick and poor: "For you have eaten up the vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses. 'What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?' says the Lord God of hosts." Revelation Ch. 13--warning to those who resort to violence and war, as being on the wrong side of God, human rights and human civilization and history. Luke 10:25-37--Story of Good Samaritan; Matthew 7:12--"Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Who among us, can read the words and deeds of Jesus and, then refuse to insist that their neighbor has healthcare?" Who among us, here in the 21st Century "days of miracle and wonder", war and rumor of war, is great enough to argue with Jesus?
NOTE: Some conservative Christian liars pretend that the teachings of Jesus refer only to individuals and do not apply to governments or government programs. In Matthew 25, Jesus very specifically uses the word "nations", not "individuals". According to Jesus and many authors of the Bible, in regards to nations, what goes around, eventually comes around; this is true regarding helping or not helping, the sick and poor (which are often lumped together as a single cause), as well as in regards to societal violence and waging wars of aggression. Conservative Christians and others who use the Bible to justify war and even worse, to justify not only ignoring the plight of the sick and poor, but rather, to support and vote for those who build walls to keep poor people from feeding their families and otherwise, increase their oppression, are very plainly, the biggest liars on Planet Earth.