"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I’m weighing in on the healthcare debate because to me it seems really crucial. I am finishing my dissertation on a history of medicine topic and the doctors I profile primarily serve the under-served. They are also strong proponents of government assistance because they know how hard it is to help the poor. Some of these doctors have never turned away a patient who couldn’t pay and have suffered financially for it. Doctors are not all about the money; in fact a lot don’t make much because of the patients they choose to help.

Here's a statement from a joint letter of minority physicians organizations:
"Some members of Congress have said that we should abandon health reform for a later time. But make no mistake, if we abandon reform now – after moving further than ever before towards meaningful reform – we will not get back to this crucial agenda for a long, long time. This is your moment for political courage, vision, and leadership. We urge you to move meaningful health reform forward to its needed enactment." (to Congress from the National Medical Association along with National Hispanic Medical Association and National Council of Asian and
Pacific Islander Physicians)

Anyway, I read a live blog of the Health Care Debate yesterday and I was disheartened by the kind of things some people were saying. Pro-life proponents called “anti-choice.” Republicans blaming and name-calling Democrats and vice versa. Some were saying this bill would destroy the fabric of America.

I think a lot of this bill is not very good. Probably about half of it I just don’t agree with. And I have no delusions that it will solve America’s healthcare problems overnight. I am a firm believer in preventive and natural medicine, which this bill will not adequately address.

But do I support it? Yes. Definitely.

I can’t tell you how many uninsured people I know. Most of them work hard at their jobs and have college degrees. Some friends give up jobs they love to work jobs they hate simply to get benefits. I have had insurance all my life and I am grateful for that, but at many points it was expensive and not comprehensive. My parents are still paying off a surgery I had eleven years ago because the insurance company paid for less that half of it.

As far as helping the underserved, I think we desperately need this bill. I hear many Christians say it should be the Church’s responsibility to take care of the poor, even in healthcare issues. While fundamentally I agree, I do not think it’s wholly possible at this point. I just don’t have fifty grand to give to my uninsured friend to cover her surgery.

And yes, I’m willing to throw my tax dollars in to support this bill. I’d much rather put my taxes toward healthcare than war. I don’t agree with the sentiment that people should just get jobs so they can take care of themselves and I shouldn’t have to support them. I think that logic is flawed on so many levels. And I don’t see how extending insurance to those who don’t have it will further entrench poverty. It just doesn’t make sense.

All that to say, healthcare is a human right, and if the passing of an imperfect bill can get us closer to extending that right, then I’m for it.

Folks I like on why they support this bill:

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Saba said...

Thanks for putting that out there. I appreciate hearing your insight.

cary-anne said...

Well.stated. And I agree on putting my taxes towards health insurance over war. Excellent point.

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