Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Moral and Political Case for Healthcare Reform

Nicholas Kristof wrote a column this week that tells a heartbreaking story of a couple forced to divorce because our healthcare system made it impossible for them to stay together and still afford the treatment for the husband's early onset dementia.  The moral case for healthcare reform is that in a civilized and just society this would not happen.  Working people would be able to have access to health care.  Middle income people would have sufficient resources to get care and not face going broke when they realize their insurance is not sufficient to pay their medical bills.  And there would not be insurance companies making obscene profits while people go broke or can't afford the care they need.

Despite our pretensions, we don't really live in a civilized and just society.  Working class people can't afford healthcare.  Middle income people often find their insurance is not sufficient and they go broke.  All the while insurance companies make profits.  The reason for this is we have politicians that fine with this reality.  Rep. Lynne Jenkins(R-KS-2), who recently said the Republicans need a "Great White Hope" to go after President Obama, held a town hall this week.  A single mother said the she has trouble getting medical care for her child because she can't afford the insurance.  Rep. Jenkins laughed off the woman's concern.  The political case for healthcare reform is that people like Rep. Jenkins need to be kept far from power.  The better the health care is then the more likely the forces that profit off our dysfunctional system, and their political minions, will continue to be in the political wilderness.

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