America's health care is more important than foreign affairs

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 11:18 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

I don’t believe that some Americans will ever accept the fact that we cannot tell people in other countries how to run their governments. They fail to understand that we can’t go to war with everyone with whom we disagree. They don’t seem to understand that we don’t have the money or enough people in the military to handle another battle.

Certainly, the way the authorities dealt with the protestors in Iran was atrocious. Nevertheless, America cannot invade that country and intervene in their national affairs. In the first place, we have enough problems of our own.

One of our biggest issues is the millions of citizens who lack health care. Frankly, I would hope that the administration and members of Congress can agree on and pass a health care bill that would ensure that everyone would have decent medical attention. Most people would agree that we probably have the best health care in the world. The problem is that it is not accessible to everyone.

Of course when you bring up the subject people complain that the country is becoming Socialist. Well, according to some people anytime the government does anything for the people it is a form of Socialism. No consideration is given to the fact that programs like Social Security are paid from taxes. A government that does not provide services for its taxpayers, I wouldn’t think was much of a government.

And of course, there are those that are fond of saying that the government never runs programs successfully. Actually, there are a lot of people who would say that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), worked very well in their town or city in a natural disaster. Others would point to the school lunch program and say that it has functioned decently for many years. Is the government perfect? Of course not. But as we have witnessed over the last year, neither are a lot of private companies.

I have heard many people say that although according to the polls the majority of the citizenry believe that we should have a reformed health care plan, there are not a lot of groups advocating for one. These people are afraid that the political leaders won’t believe that we are serious about this issue. So, I’m hoping that people would read up on the subject, hold public forums, and start writing letters to their representatives and to members of the news media to let them know how important this issue is to us all.

I think it is particularly distressing when you hear stories about individuals and families who have lost their homes and livelihoods because they or a family member has become ill and either had no insurance or it wasn’t sufficient to pay their medical bills. I think we all need to ask ourselves how that can happen in a civilized society. What good is it to have first-class medical services if the average person cannot afford them?

I hope Congress will look hard for ways to finance a reformed health care system, and I don’t think we should let them off the hook until they do. Now would be a good time for us to get our priorities straight. Just as we as individuals are wasteful, our government is also wasteful. For example, how many millions do we allocate to other countries for the purpose of their buying weapons to fight wars? Can anybody look an uninsured cancer survivor in the eye and tell them that helping another country buy arms is more important than for them to be able to afford the best possible care?

We need to remember that many of our political leaders don’t seem to live on the same planet as we do. They obviously can afford the best insurance so they don’t know what many others have to face. We have to let them know that we are aware of the enormous amount of money that drug and insurance companies are willing to contribute to their campaign coffers, if they will see things their way.

I am past the point where I’m willing to listen to fairy tales about trial lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits against medical providers being responsible for the high cost of health care. How many insurance companies have gone broke paying bills for sick people?

We have a good chance to reform the health care program this year. Let’s don’t waste it. Let’s get those emails moving toward Washington. The good news is we don’t even have to buy stamps to mail them. What’s your excuse?


You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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