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“About Healthcare” by Arnold Sherr
asherr60 | September 21, 2009 at 09:28 amby
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I am not cerebrally entangled in all of the intricacies of the “so-called” Obama healthcare agenda; however, it doesn’t take historical records to know how disproportionate rising healthcare costs have been in relationship to average American incomes. In fact, it is well-documented that over the past twenty or so years, salaries have not kept even moderately close to the rate inflation or CPI. Although others express dissatisfaction with the prospects of a government supported healthcare system, I am excited that its presence will encourage private insures to compete openly with such a government plan.
Opponents argue that such a plan is socialistic like that of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />England and Canada; that many will be at risk due to long waits for care. Furthermore, only the wealthy as in England and Canada, will be able to afford private healthcare services. I disagree, simply because I feel that whatever form healthcare reform takes-on, it will not exclude affordable and competitive choices within the private sector. Perhaps people hear only what they want to hear. What I hear is that reform will not drive out private sector carriers and providers, but will create an environment to incentivize private insurers to compete; something I was always taught was a good thing.
I remember when Ma Bell was divested. Well, just look at your phone bills now? Monopolies or not, these megacorps are not shy about raising prices; even while Americans suffer. Perhaps, if the government offered a communications plan that reduced the costs of competitive services, private industry will be compelled to compete for a decent market share. It is beyond all common sense and comprehension that conservative citizenry can’t see this, even though the President has repeatedly explained same. They are convinced that not only will healthcare become ineffective and dangerous; it will dominate and be managed by politicians rather than medical experts. This is the same exhausted argument levied against HMOs when they first entered the equation years ago. Yet, many seniors like me find them worthy and affordable. More than just that, I know of few who have experienced serious maladies with Medicare and Medicaid; not to exclude Veterans healthcare; something I’ve had the benefit of for years and am thankful for the great care they continue to expend.
Conservatives think it is only they who are concerned with a growing deficit. Factually, I know of few liberals who are elated because their kids are to be burdened with this mounting debt. Moreover, for those who live on Main Street the perspective is vastly different than from those whose prosperity has come directly from those who remain on Main Street. One could write a book entitles “The views from the top and the bottom.” How such perspectives vary may clue us all of why the right and the left cannot find middle ground. It was well stated during the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings; that the right finds fault with embracing empathy. Certain evidence that empathy is perceived by the right to be a sign of weakness; that being empathetic may cloud one’s judgment, infecting dictated procedure and contaminating outcomes.
Exceptionally, there are among the right, Main Streeters; they are a minority in Main Street circles. Most Main Streeters are liberal because liberalism embracing middle class and lower needs; whereas, conservatism attracts the wealthy and wealth wannabees. Certainly, thirst for wealth shall overshadow or render as weak the embracing of empathy. Placing an ambitious or wealthy person in the shoes of a Main Streeter may run the risk of softening the hardness it takes to earn and hold tightly to monetary objectives and possessions.
I’ve had many collaborations with small business owners who are angry to even think they might be required to shoulder a small burden to help the very masses that patronized them to wealth and prosperity; directly or indirectly. Only the empathetic have empathy; sometimes, even for those un-empathetic.
Fifty-plus million Americans are uninsured and the right is angry at the very prospect that they may have to shoulder a modest burden to help others access reasonable efficient healthcare. How cold can they be merely at the risk of comparing money as more important than the needs of their fellow man? I realize the picture “Trading Places” was a mere movie; but, what a lesson it would be for say, Senators John Cornyn of Texas or Jon Kyl of Arizona. The view is much different when looking up from pride with empathy!
Hypocrisy is overwhelming; to suggest that empathy is a liability. Where were the ‘empathy-deficient’s’ when G-d gave out human characteristics? A mystery, it remains to me! After watching, listening, and speaking with conservatives and conservative wannabees, I am proud and happy to be looking up and on from Main Street. I know the value of empathy and I am thankful for it.