Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Argument for Health Care Reform That Will Convince Even a Republican

Have you ever known someone who had a loved one who was suffering from a terrible disease or injury? Someone whose child or wife or husband was terribly ill? Have you ever known someone in that situation who was uninsured? Or underinsured? Who was dealing with a a horrible health crisis, and had no idea how to pay for it? Who was slowly realizing he or she would end up grief-stricken, alone and homeless?

Have you ever seen how someone like that worries night and day? How it destroys them from within? How he or she can't sleep, can't eat, can't focus, can't think of anything but pain and loss and need and fear?

If so...

Is that the person you want fixing your brakes? Or servicing your elevator? Flying your plane? Working the crane on the construction site next to your office? Driving the truck in the lane next to yours? Driving your kids' school bus?

Have you ever had a toothache? On a Sunday? You know how that pain consumes you, and all you can think about is oh god when will Monday come so I can see a dentist?

What about someone who can't afford to see a dentist? Who just puts up with that toothache while it gets worse and worse? For a week? Or a month? Or two months?

What if he or she is the TSA screener or performing maintenance on your next flight? Or operating that crane at the construction site next to your office? What if he or she is the crossing guard at your kids' school?

Speaking of kids, what about someone who can't afford a pediatrician? Look around the playground next time your kids are there. What if one of the other kids has an undiagnosed, untreated, highly-communicable disease?

The health care crisis is everyone's problem. It's your problem. Even if you have insurance.

A true patriot could never live with the suffering of any American, but even if you're not a patriot, it's your problem. Even if you lack simple human compassion and decency, it's still your problem.

And it must be solved, without compromise. Now.

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