July 29, 2009
Today, while on my way to Dr’s appointment ironically, I saw a billboard adverstitinsg a local hospital. It said, if you have a problem (and really, who goes to the hospital if they don’t) they guarantee you will be seen by a Dr is 24 hrs! They are going to go out on the limb that is 24 hours you will actually have some face time with a medical professional…and they think this is something to brag about. Getting care in 24 hours is something they want you to know about them, because this apparently sets them apart from the rest. It got me thinking about the status of health care in this country and regardless of your support for the presidents new plan, I think we can all admit something has got to change. I don’t know what the right answer is but I believe in order to address the problem we need to face some simple truths. Here are 5 truths that I believe.
1) I believe that our current heath care crisis is not one of the state of health care at all but rather a crisis of class and by extension race and sex. I believe that we can not address health care until we are willing to admit to the class crisis in our country and deal with that too.
2) I believe that all people have the right to health care. I believe it is as fundamental as my right to freely speak about its importance or someone elses right to pray for change. I certainly believe it is as important as the right to carry an Uzi which people seem to get all bent out of shape about.
3) I believe that it is the responsibility of every person to do their part to ensure everyone has access to quality health care. We live in a society and as members of that society we agree to certain social contracts. The contract that causes you to stop at a red light so you don’t plow into an unsuspecting pedestrian is the same contract that should provide that pedestrian access to a good Dr if you do. It is no less homicidal to deny someone cancer treatment as it is to use your hard earned Uzi to off them.
4) I believe that no heath plan can be considered comprehensive until it includes ‘luxeries’ like preventative care, well care, access to good nutritional information and yes, I am going to say it, reproductive care*.
5) I believe that these are my beliefs and I do not believe that you have to agree with me. But, I do believe that it is your responsibility to find your own beliefs and talk about them. I started talking about health care 10 years ago when a family friend asked my father for his old ear drops because he could not afford drops of his own. A hard working man in his 50’s could not afford medication to treat and prevent something that my father could get for an $8 copay. If you tell me there is something right about this situation, I will happily admit that my beliefs are wrong.
*I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why my insurance will happily cover Viagra but will not cover birth control pills. If you have a good explanation for this, I would LOVE to hear it.