The Oct. 14 article regarding health-care costs underscores the real crisis in the U.S. (“Seniors, disabled facing Medicare decisions”). No doubt a fiscal cliff may loom ahead, but the greatest immediate threat to the poor, middle class and many top 10 percenters is health costs.
Employee/employer contributions and other expenses can easily exceed $12,000 yearly for a family of four. That’s $6 an hour for a full-time worker in a state with a $7.85 an hour minimum wage.
Yet, with this elephant in the room, politicians blithely talk of repealing Obamacare and leaving health care to the states. To expect all states to craft “Romneycare”-type legislation is misguided.
If we deferred to states, the Little Rock Nine might still be waiting outside an Arkansas school (integrated with intervention by federal troops), women might not be voting in many states (nine states rejected the 19th Amendment in 1920; Mississippi did not pass it until 1984) and, in fact, slavery might still exist in the South (it was ended by an executive order, not by states).
In a country whose Declaration of Independence demands protection of our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must define life as enjoying as healthy a life as possible, liberty as not being hostage to financial ruin at the onset of cancer or a myriad of other diseases and the pursuit of happiness as the ability to better ourselves without the millstone of health-care costs around our necks.
Attempting to link health care to socialism obfuscates our responsibility. If a man wants to live in abject poverty when he is capable of working, let him live under a bridge somewhere. He does not need our sympathy or our assistance, but he should still be afforded quality health care.
Christians know Christ healed the woman who touched his cloak without even knowing who she was. Health care must rain on the just and the unjust.
Humanitarians know we are socially obligated to care for our fellow man. As a nation, we must elevate others’ needs above our own wants, greed and desires.
Candidates should be running on making Obamacare better and more effective. Now is not the time to throw the baby out with the bath water. To demand repeal with no real solutions to the crisis is not governing. Accept Obamacare. Make it better. Our great nation certainly should be able to figure how.
From a position of weakness
I was very disappointed with the vice presidential debate. We have huge problems facing our country and two very different approaches. One side wishes to expand the government; the other side favors growing the economy through private industry. This is an important choice. The American people would benefit from a complete discussion, but, unfortunately, that did not happen.
Though both candidates referred to their talking points, it was Vice President Biden who deserves most of the blame for ruining the debate. His wild gesticulations, constant interruptions, eye rolling and open mocking of his opponent destroyed any hope of serious discussion.
Biden’s debate “strategy” seemed to be to accost Paul Ryan at every turn, no matter what point was being discussed. That’s not the strategy of someone who is confident but of someone who knows he is on the weaker side.
It’s really strange. After a Democrat was sworn in as president, people actually expected that he is ultimately responsible for whatever anybody beneath him does. Odd, since that school of thought was not there from 2001 through early 2009.