Health care reform is at a climactic crossroads. Necessity should speak for itself. But sometimes it needs vocal coaches.
Although the crush of medical bills is the prime cause of individual bankruptcy (and the catastrophic collateral damage it does to families) in this country, and despite our nation’s lagging far behind several dozen other countries (including many less wealthy than we are) in many indicators of health care quality, (such as longevity and infant mortality), and even though not a single major political party in any of these other democratic nations has ever proposed the elimination of their existing national health system, millions of gullible Americans have been suckered by reactionary special interests into practically equating a government-sponsored health care option with the worst excesses of Marxism.
Their resistance to proposed health care reform is macabre, not patriotic.
All sane arguments favor a national health care program. The UFT’s Executive Board has endorsed it and the AFT is mobilized to persuade federal legislators to show courage and common sense by supporting it.
There has been much deliberate blurring of the facts and orchestrated ambiguity surrounding issues of health care reform. This must be made clear: there MUST be a government-administered health insurance plan. This so-called “public option” can co-exist (as it does in the United Kingdom where, by the way, there are no “death panels”) with private insurers.
It is essential that we protect Americans who cannot otherwise afford insurance and we must thwart efforts to tax the health care insurance of those people who already have it.
And there absolutely must be a government-sponsored public option. Reform without it is no option at all.