Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Love thy fellow citizen?

Kaizer Family Foundation found that: "Forty-five percent would be willing to pay more in taxes or insurance premiums to help expand coverage to the uninsured. Fifty-one percent would be unwilling to do so."

We love to bring democracy to the peoples around the world because democracy is the most fundamental necessity in life, right? I guess i was just taught incorrectly that maybe health is the most fundamental necessity in life. The poll above, despite not being necessarily the view of the entire country and all its peoples, does give us insight into how American's view their own citizens and the principles we hold dear. It is truly sad that we care so much more for abstract ideals such as democracy, liberty and freedom than we do about our own brothers and sisters in this country. We have tens of millions of people without any healthcare in this country, which means that most of these people cannot get care for the most basic health needs in their lives. In 2001, 41.2 million people in this country had no medical insurance. This includes millions of children and elderly men and women. The Drug and Insurance Companies are making billions off of this.

We talk about life as if life means anything without good health. Good health shouldn't be a privelege which depends upon the economic status of individuals, it is a right, a right that is just as, actually much more, necessary than liberty or freedom. Does money really mean more to us than individual lives? How can we ever speak of being a civilized society or country when we don't care enough about our own fellow citizens? When we say that your health isn't a real worry for the government to care about, it isn't as important to us as is the war for "democracy" in Iraq. Thousands of Americans will die not from gunshots or being killed but because we didn't care enough to provide them the means to receiving the care that they needed. Love thy neighbor, indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I were surprised by this. Americans seem to lack a basic understanding of how we pay for stuff here. Here is a hint: it's taxes. Pony up, people. I mean, an effective campaign strategy is tell people the other guy will raise your taxes. People freak out. Starting next year, I will have to pay a lot of taxes. And I don't mind. If it would help us fund health care and better education and if it would mean no taxes for the very poor, raise them, espcially for those of us who will be making a lot (and especially for the people who really make a lot, I mean, come on). We pay so little in taxes compared not only to other countries, but compared to the tax rates in the first half of this century in this country.

People are selfish and have knee-jerk reactions to the word taxes. It's frustrating.