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No health care reform hurts everyone

I recently recovered from an extended physical ailment. Having been blessed with pretty good health, it was a good reminder of an old adage: ‘If you have good health, you have just about everything.’ Dragging around for months, I sure lacked what it took to get much done, and at times even the concern.
I spent a lot of time lying around reading, and much of my subject matter dealt with the topic of the day: health care reform. Although it is receiving much attention now, it isn’t a new issue, as Time magazine reported, ‘Universal health care was first advocated in the platform of Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party in 1912.’ The longer I felt like the pits, the more the articles went from interesting words and concepts to ones of real urgency. At any age, every day counts, and who wants to lose them to sickness?
When one is in pain, the idea that we must haggle over the details of an insurance plan for all our citizens is unconscionable; it is now that the person needs the hurt to go away.
When my doctor diagnosed my disease after months of trying to figure out what was wrong, he called in a prescription that immediately took the worst symptoms away. I know what it is like to one minute hurt all over and then suddenly, with a couple of small, white pills given by a caring and capable doctor, feel like a good life is still possible. As I look back, I have to ask myself, ‘What if because of no insurance and no cash to pay, I had had to go on needlessly hurting?’ Unfortunately, many of our loved ones and friends do just that!
In last year’s presidential campaign, we all heard strong debates about the need for better health care coverage and the proposals of each candidate. That was the time to get statements from our future leaders; now is the time to hold them accountable for that reform. This is no small task, as it seems everyone has some different group or process or institution to blame for rising health care costs and the increasing lack of access to care at any cost.
In 1776, our Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal.’ However, we don’t provide a way for them to stay so for long. How could this be in a country like ours, a country that has experienced an unparalleled long stretch of economic prosperity? The latest official count, in 2007, shows that 18 percent of those under age 65 do not have health insurance. And we all know in 2009 with our economy struggling, those numbers are far worse. Eighty percent of these are working U.S. citizens.
Run the numbers anyway you want and they still add up to show that with unavailable medical insurance everyone, every institution and the total security and economy of our country loses. Almost all issues pale in comparison to the need for reform in health care.
Congress is studying health care reform now. We also must study the situation. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be fun. Health care is complex and expensive, and we have a limited amount of resources to use for all of our nation’s needs.
During a forum at Ivy Tech Community College on health care reform, experts said ‘something will be done’ but Congress will not bite the bullet and put in place a program that makes sure we all have access to equal good health care. They said too many groups have divergent views and that ‘the public (meaning us) is not ready for it.’
Putting off extensive health care reform as extreme and unrealistic is making us sick, and not just to our stomachs.

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