Healthcare: A Moral Imperative

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I had no intention of writing this when I woke up this morning. I was idly reading a news story, and came across this . It starts out…

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WASHINGTON – Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

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I think most of us already know what I’m about to say…

The time has come for universal health care. Period. The specifics for how this is going to be achieved are an important detail to debate, but for the moment, I don’t really care. I just know that our current system is way past the point of decency.

We live in a nation that spends half a trillion dollars on war. Half a trillion dollars mastering the technologies of organized murder. Much of that goes into weapons research that produces weapons that we will never use. Much of that goes into weapons that, if we did use them, would end the world.

We live in a nation that almost succeeded, last year, in making special provisions so that people like Paris Hilton don’t have to pay so much taxes.

We live in a nation where people like us are demonized by people on the right who claim to support “the sanctity of life.”

We live at a time when we know more about Britney Spears’s latest haircut than the suffering of our fellow citizens.

This isn’t a small issue. Not to the millions and millions of American citizens suffering. Not to the thousands who have died premature deaths.

We often are outraged, and rightfully so, when we learn our government has made the choice to torture a few hundred of our citizens in secret camps. However, this is little different than our government’s decision to torture millions of our fellow citizens, in broad daylight, by denying them access to health care. We have the money. We are simply choosing not to spend it.

About an average of three or four Americans die in Iraq every day. How many people die because their government has barred them from the hospitals and doctor’s offices in their own towns? I cannot find a statistic on this number. Is it because we care so little about our nation’s poor? Or, do those with power wish to hide this statistic, as it might outrage us more than we already are? I don’t know.

When I read about the latest American casualty today, my blood boiled. Only one thought was in my mind.

Not one more death. Not one more mother’s child. Not one more grave needlessly filled.

The time is now.

Note: I orginally published this under another byline here .

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