I am writing you on behalf of all Americans. Not because all Americans agree with me, I know they do not. However, I am writing on their behalf as well. I am writing because there is a serious disconnect in our country, specifically in our government, about those very US citizens.
Health care. There is a lot of meaning in those words, almost all of which is neglected by the current debate. The point of it all, of making people healthy, keeping them that way, and improving the human lifespan while minimizing suffering, seems completely overwhelmed by the problem: cost. What we need is not better insurance, or wider-reaching coverage. Somehow, with the floating of those two concepts, the actual need, for healthier humans, has already been removed from the stage. Cost and coverage have replaced care, prevention, and healing as the focal points of need. And that switch allows for more callous, crass and otherwise reprehensible behavior.
If the conversation were re-focused, so that the sentence “deny someone coverage based on existing conditions” became “do not heal someone who is already sick” the awkward nature of the argument would be more obvious. Does anyone in our country NOT want care when they are sick or injured? In a democracy, a country run “by the people, for the people,” how then can we engage in such an argument, where part of society can advocate a solution that simply does not hold with their own desires?
If everyone wants to be cared for when they are ill or injured, how can anyone be against universal health care?
Please, in our current debate remember that “coverage” is not “care” and “insurance” is not “healing”. Remember those who have worked their entire lives, yet never been offered health care by an employer. Remember those who were born with a disease or a disability, even a treatable one like asthma or poor vision, and yet are forced to pay constantly for renewed “prescriptions” that are simply a continuation of what they have lived with forever. Remember that no country in the world spends more, for less, and that no matter the risk, the system we have simply does not help the citizens of our country.
Thank you for your continued work for all of us.