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8 Oct 2009 / Julie

Rally around real Health Care Reform

Last night I caught Keith Olbermann’s program-length Special Comment on Health care. If you haven’t yet seen it, I’ve embedded the video for you below. You can also read the transcript

It baffles me why, as a country, we let politics get in the way of making the lives of our citizens better. Why we allow politics (and religion) to stand in the way of proper sex education and health care and transportation systems and better nutrition… and how we’re supposed to be this technologically advanced, free-thinking liberal country and yet we have tons of people out of work, homeless, starving, and generally uncared for. Clearly we don’t seem to worry that we’re only as strong as our weakest link.

I’ve been privileged in my life to never have to worry about health care. My parents always had insurance and whenever i got sick (which was a fair amount as a kid), i was always able to see a doctor and afford whatever prescription was going to make me better. I’ve heard of insurance companies refusing to cover battered women, i’ve seen prescription lists that include Viagra and other male enhancement drugs that also do not include birth control. I have friends that “got all their appts in” before losing their jobs. But yesterday i learned that someone i work closely with doesn’t have health insurance. She’s part time and her husband is self-employed and they can’t afford it on their own. Suddenly it occurred to me how carelessly i’ve been assuming that having health coverage is a standard part of life… because for me, it always has been.

Regardless of the fact that these are two intelligent, smart, educated people with good jobs, even the guy down the street without a job or permanent residency should be able to afford health care. Our country is failing our citizens. Somewhere along the line people got greedy and shit hit the fan. The housing market collapsed. Businesses closed and people lost their jobs. Companies thought they could get away with murder. The insurance industry is no exception.

What would my life be like if i never had access to health insurance. Well for one thing i might not be alive today. Or if i was, either myself or my parents would be very much in debt. And Keith is right, if the desire to extend my life and not die causes me to lower my quality of life because i’m in debt, then someone is failing me. In this case, the insurance companies for being greedy and the American politicians for being the same.

There is absolutely no excuse why there should be people living on our land who are suffering because they do not have access to quality, affordable (or free) healthcare. The United States is the only industrialized country on the planet without Universal Health Care. WTF is keeping us from getting on the “we care for our people too” bandwagon?

… check out Keith’s Special Comment below, in 5 parts.


Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment: Health care Reform: Saving American lives
Part One

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Part Two

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Part Three

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Part Four

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Part Five

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