Is it a right or is it a privilege?
Edward Kennedy: "Affordable health Insurance is a fundamental right and not a privilege."
I am one of those stories that has been talked about. I was laid off from my job after the dot-com crash and 9/11. I used the California COBRA system for as long as it was available to me and at the end of that insurance I had my regular checkup. I was in surgery for the removal of a lump in my breast within 14 days after my insurance ended even though I regularly had my checkups. I was one of the lucky ones, the lump was benign and all I had to do was empty out my retirement account to pay for the surgery. But for the next 5 years I was uninsurable and lived in constant fear that the next mammogram would show another problem.
I watched Obama sign the bill and I listened to both Democratic and Republican responses to its passage. I listened and weighed out both the praise and the condemnation. I cannot fathom the reason as to why there is so much opposition to this and to a public option and to why there is so much opposition to a person being required to have mandatory health insurance.
The Republican Official response this morning stated that there are just a great many people that just do not want health insurance, are healthy and do not need it. I have a very simple and complete response to that imbecilic notion.
1. We are simply a nation of drivers, it is how a great many of us get around. A drivers license is "mandatory" in order to operate a motor vehicle. It mandatory for several reasons, but mostly it is to insure that everyone is as safe as possible, knows and observes the rules and to keep the roadways safe for us all.
2. We are required to carry drivers insurance. WHY? We are required to have this insurance in case there is an accident, if you as a driver hurt someone and that the bills can be paid for and that this person can have health and property restored. This insurance is required for the safety and security of all on the roads.
The Obvious Answer: So, the logic of this mornings argument follows… if I as a driver have never had an accident, never had a ticket I should not be required to have a drivers license and I should not be required to have insurance. If I do not want it I should not be required to get it.
All I can promise you that if this person who does not want insurance has an accident they would expect, hell, they would demand that an ambulance show up in a timely manner and get them to the hospital, they would demand that they receive the proper care at that hospital. If this happens to be a catastrophic accident and this person did not have a large stash of cash then we would rest of the country pick up the tab in the form of raised premiums.
We need to have a nation of people that are healthy and that understand that preventative health care will make the costs of a universal health care system so much more affordable than the horrific system that we are faced with now.
It is a RIGHT for every person in this country to have access to affordable health care. We are a diverse and complex nation and to believe that not having these fundamental basic services not what we stand for as a nation.