Guts, Politics, Health Care and CHANGE


Regardless of who wins the elections in November one thing is for sure, health care in America will never be the same.  And this is a good thing.

Even if the White House welcomes new residents or the balance in power tips in favor of the Republican Party, health care will never go back to where it was 2 years ago. Never. Thankfully, never.

This is not a discourse on who should be elected in November. It’s not a debate on other political issues such as the fight against terrorism, the war in Afghanistan, gay marriage, unemployment, job creation, Benghazi, abortion or Big Labor and the NLRB. While health care reform is intertwined with many of these issues, health care reform stands primarily in its own political silo. My thoughts recorded here speak to one issue—health care in America has changed.

Health Care in America has Changed

For decades there has been talk—simply talk—of needed changes in our American health care. Finally, change has come. Finally, someone had the fortitude to put something on the table. I may have my gripes with some political positions of President Obama, but one thing cannot be denied—he put health care on the table and has forced our nation’s leaders to wrestle with it. Finally, someone has spoken with authority for the millions without adequate access to reasonable health care.

Without any doubt, the changes are not perfect. I doubt there is anyone, on either side of the aisle, who would voice 100% agreement with all that comes with health care reform. Even as health care reform was voted into law, proponents were not satisfied with it. Yet, they knew it was a start. They knew it was first step in the right direction.

Change is Needed, But Not This Type of Change?

I often hear statements like “Yes, change is needed, but not this type of change.” When I hear this statement I sometimes ask, “Well what would you suggest?” Typically, there will be some discussion about free markets and capitalism and less government. I often wonder why these answers never address the real issue—millions of Americans without access to reasonable health care.

More often than not, those who proclaim “change, but not this change,” do so for one of three reasons: One, they are of a conservative political bent and oppose anything offered by liberal politicians. Or, two, they have adequate access to health insurance either through their own personal wealth or employment. Or, three, they don’t want to be forced to help bear the burden of others who cannot get care.

I find it interesting that the opposing political platform does not spell out how health care will change if a new guard is voted into office. They have no problem expressing their disdain for the current health care reform. And while there is some cherry-picking style talk of reforming the reform, there is nothing of substance put on paper. Why is that? The answer is simple–because it is easy to make broad sweeping criticisms. On the other hand, providing solutions is difficult…and painful.

There is no way to institute needed reform without some segments of the population losing something. In order for ALL Americans to have access to reasonable health care, something has to change—somebody has to give up something. The current political opponents of health care reform don’t want to upset those “somebodies.” Quite simply, they don’t have the guts to do what is right because they will lose votes and the confidence of the powerful. And if some miracle happens and they are willing to stand up against the tide and do what is right for the poor and sick among us, I would be shocked to see them put their plan on paper before the elections.

Change Happened

Change happened…and because it did there are fellow Americans who can now pursue LIFE (and liberty and happiness). Because change happened, some of our neighbors don’t have to wait till their illness is terminal to get treatment. Because change happened American citizens have access to preventive care. Because change happened parents have hope for their sick children. Because change happened the grip of greed has lessened its hold on the poor and sick.

There is plenty in politics to keep our complaint buckets full, but with American health care, change has happened…and I am glad it did.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Renee' on October 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Jack, I really wish I had time when we are in the US to sit down and have a long conversation. I’m not going to throw all my questions and concerns at you through a blog posts (although, that seems to be what many of them are for). I totally agree that change is necessary. My main concern is that it is just a change of who has the power to make decisions and who profits. I just have to rely on the internet for my information and I don’t like doing that. While I’ve read that those with socialized medicine have better pre-natal care, therefore lower infant mortality rates, I also have a friend who doesn’t know if his elderly mom has Alzheimer’s or not because in his country, socialized medicine has not made it possible for her to see a doctor. So the more I read, the more confused I am!

    Reply

    • Posted by jackwbruce on October 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Renee,

      Thanks for your comments. I am not sure how much good I would do you with a long conversation. I have some of the same questions you voiced and I am still learning. My point in the posts is that Change has taken place and it is good that healthcare is being forced upon our nation’s leaders to find answers. I don’t think HCR will remain “as is,” no matter who is elected. But at least our country is now addressing it and people who formerly had no true options for medical care (primarily preventative care and treatment for existing conditions) will have options. Of course, it can all be overturned–but that means someone(s) is going to have to deliberately deny care to fellow Americans–I doubt that form of callousness will be exhibited. There is a large silent segment of our population who appreciates much of what we find in HCR–it simply is not popular to voice it.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Renee' on October 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Thanks, Jack. It would be fun to catch up, even if we couldn’t solve the world’s problems. It’s interesting, to me. One of our staff members has been taking care of her mother who keeps having a succession of mini strokes and the doctors don’t know how to treat her. She was telling us how the doctors here will go through the waiting room and look at the people waiting and assess them based on how they look and how they are dressed and determine who they will treat and who they will send away. Often people who need surgeries bribe surgeons with the best vodka they can afford (for the doctor to drink before surgery). It’s the same thing, really, isn’t it? When it doesn’t affect you, it’s easy to try to stay in your comfortable little bubble. When it does, you realize the inequities/injustices of the system depending on where you fall on the socio-economic scale.

    I will say this. I would feel better about any health care reform legislation passed if the legislators did not exempt themselves from it, but were required to participate.

    Reply

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