Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Everyone should have some basic security when it comes to their health." (President Obama)

Just one more thing about health care.

I debated writing the last post, and this one, because every time I post something political I regret it at first because I'm opening myself up to disapproval, disagreement, and derision -- none of which I handle well. But then I was so upset about the protesters and I knew I had to put it into words because I'm a writer and if I don't write I will burst.

One of my favorite bloggers/columnists to read is Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. He's really good at explaining complex subjects without dumbing down or being condescending. (He also tweets some pretty funny stuff.) He wrote a post on Who does health care reform really help? which made me happy because it reinforced why I support reform and this bill, even with its flaws. He also referenced an article in The New Republic written by Jonathan Cohn about his observations of the Capitol protesters:

The conservatives protesting on the Capitol lawn Saturday see things differently. Health care reform isn't about contributing money for the sake of their own security; it's about having their money taken for the sake of somebody else's security. When they hear stories of people left bankrupt or sick because of uninsurance, they are more likely to see a lack of personal responsibility and virtue than a lack of good fortune.
This kind of thinking goes against everything I believe. But seeing it in print and recognized by others, did help to ease some of my sadness and anger. And I realize this might be boiling down their viewpoint to a talking point, but it's the biggest issue I've had with the opposition so I'm focusing on that. Cohn continues:
The bill before Congress may be flawed. And the process that produced it may be severely flawed. But it is, nevertheless, an expression of the idea that we--as as society--are not prepared to let people continue to suffer such dire consequences just because they’re unlucky. [emphasis added]

And that pretty much sums up my government and life view. I'm not naive enough to think that government can fix everything. In fact, after Katrina, I put my faith in the people to fix things, to make a difference. But I do think we have a responsibility to others. For starters, one day it could be us needing a helping hand. But more than that, quite simply, it's just the right thing to do. I don't see another option. Nothing is black and white to me, except this.

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