I am fortunate to live in a country where preventive health care is plentiful and reasonably-priced. (Uh, that would be France; it's not quite so accessible in the US). I am lucky that my husband's employer provides us with excellent insurance and medical care, no matter where we are in the world.
But what if I didn't have that support? What if I returned to the US and continued working as a freelance writer and photographer? Would I be able to afford a decent healthcare package, without stretching my financial resources to the limit? Unlikely.
Here's the thing: health care is not political. It's personal. And it matters just as much to me as it does to you and the person sitting next to you on the bus. In the richest country in the world, being able to receive proper medical care should be the right of every single citizen - not just the wealthy or those employed by corporations large enough to afford to share in costs of their employees' coverage. In the United States of America, THIS should not be happening.
For those of you with the comfy cushion of employer coverage, thank your lucky stars! But what if you lost that safety net? God forbid you are stricken with some terrible illness and the life-saving treatment you need is denied, as in Megan's case.
What if you lose your job and suddenly have no coverage whatsoever? Would you then be more sympathetic to the plight of the uninsured or under-insured? Would you stop worrying about the ridiculous slings-and-arrows of politics and the self-serving rhetoric and distorted arguments of insurance lobbyists? Would you simply focus on the essential issue: proper health care for every American?
In the United States, we believe in equal rights for ALL - not just for the wealthy or those earning comfortable incomes. So why, why, WHY do we have health care comparable to some Third World Country, where only the most fortunate receive the treatment they need??!! This is unconscionable, no matter your political persuasion. A country that makes health care -and good education - available only to some of its citizens is failing to uphold democratic ideals, "with liberty and justice for all."
Read more and decide for yourself:
Paul Krugman writes about health care realities in The New York Times. Every American should read this piece!
In Newsweek, Jonathan Alter wonders "What's not to like?"
Healthcare tyranny: David Sirota writes in Salon how politicans with ties to the insurance industry are keeping the US from real healthcare.
US Rep. Anthony Weiner calls on Republicans to "put up or shut up." Video at Crooks & Liars.
Standing up for Obama's health plan: A doctor who treats the disabled and injured explains why the reform bill helps America.
This may hurt a bit: Mike Madden writes about the advertising blitz - pro and con - for health care reform.
Weekend fitness buffs crossing the bridge to St. Cloud.
In a dawn raid eerily reminiscent of Nazi storm troopers, this act of unprovoked Israeli aggression is not only cruel, but morally wrong. It also violates international law.