Congratulations to Dr. C. William Keck for organizing the trip to Cuba and to those who joined him in reviewing Cuba’s effective health-care system (“Akron-area officials visit Cuba,” Feb. 26). Such outreach to other nations is an excellent way to learn how domestic health-care delivery and financing might be improved.
It is extremely unfortunate that such outreach was not conducted around the world by members of Congress and health-care leaders, beginning the day after “Hillarycare” was declared politically dead.
We might then have been spared the political circus surrounding consideration of the Affordable Care Act (“ Obamacare”). We might actually have benefited from reasoned discussion rather than the highly emotional, ideologically driven absurdities that continue to plague the act’s implementation.
As Dr. Keck’s Cuba trip illustrates, however, it is not too late for more “comparison shopping” by U.S. business, community and political leaders.
Such an effort offers the opportunity to develop far greater understanding of how other nations and their communities address the universal issue of affordable, effective health care.
No doubt some critics will invoke American exceptionalism to justify ignoring how other nations address health care — or any other issue.
Unfortunately, this notion of American exceptionalism demonstrates exceptional arrogance toward and ignorance of the world around us.
Worse, it undermines our citizens’ real exceptionalism, eagerness and capacity to learn from each other, both home and abroad.
These days, the Internet has become the source for news and a powerful political force. This would be impossible without net neutrality.
Just remember that the Arab Spring, as well as many other political changes, have been brought about by the Internet.
The Internet is returning power to the people, which is where it should have been in the first place.
To that end, Internet service providers should be reclassified as common carriers.
Upon reading the Feb. 26 article about Mayor Don Plusquellic’s trip to Cuba, I am even more convinced that normalizing relations with Cuba is long overdue. It’s time.
And I am old enough to remember the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s.
Let’s move on.
Rabbi Stephen Grundfast