Saturday, August 22, 2009

How about a little Compassion?!

Roger Ebert has been blogging about Health Care issues lately - he has been through quite a gamut of treatment for jaw-cancer, reconstructive surgeries, and all sorts of physical complications in the past few years - but has been able to survive because his medical expenses are covered by GOVERNMENT FUNDED HEALTH INSURANCE (Medicare!). Here is a link to his blog responding to comments he received when discussing "Death Panels" and his own thoughts on end-of-life-care (because he actually was given the imperative opportunity to think about these things in the course of this disease process!)

Here are a few, succinct excerpts:
If you lack insurance coverage, are you opposed to the public option? If your premiums have increased so much that you can't afford them, do you oppose it? If you have a "preexisting condition" that disqualifies you from insurance, do you oppose it? If it would provide you with equivalent insurance at a lower cost, do you oppose it? Most Americans, even those angry people at town hall meetings, now approve of MediCare. The public option would essentially make a system like MediCare available to the general population.

I believe universal health care is, quite simply, right.

It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn't deserve it. A nation is a mutual undertaking. In a democracy, we set out together to do what we believe is good for the commonwealth. That means voluntarily subjecting ourselves to the rule of law, taxation, military service, the guaranteeing of rights to minorities, and so on. That is a cheap price to pay.

I actually have renewed respect for Roger Ebert- he is not only writing about the movies we watch, and why those stories influence us, he is being a fully realized American - advocating what is morally right and reminding us that "American" can -and should!- imply "compassion".

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