Last week the United States Supreme Court heard arguments to determine the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The court was examining certain aspects of the legislation. Some time in June we will find out what they decide.
A lot of people are greatly concerned about passage of the act. We look forward to the day when all Americans will be able to have affordable health care. Of course, many others were opposed to the bill. It is their feeling that it is unconstitutional for Americans to be forced to buy health care insurance whether they want to or not.
The country has been around a long time. People live a lot longer now than they did in previous years. Medical science has advanced to such a great degree, it's possible for people to enjoy good health to a greater age. The cost of health care, however, has increased to the point where those at the lower level of the pay scale and those who are unemployed are unable to afford adequate health care.
Those who are able to afford health care complain that some individuals who have not paid into the health care system, who were able to do so but chose not to, often have sudden illnesses which cause them to have to be hospitalized. With no insurance, these individuals' health care costs are passed on to others to pay. Paying customers of the health care system claim this is unfair. And they are exactly right.
I consider the Constitution of the United States a superior document. I think its purpose, though, is to ensure the well-being of U.S. citizens. Many others consider this a sacred, untouchable document with the sole purpose of outlining our rights and privileges. I, however, am not a constitutional scholar, and I'm sure the court will straighten us out.
After the court has made its decision, we will know where we stand on this matter. In any case, we must deal with our health care crisis. I certainly hope those who were so critical about this plan can offer something to replace it. We have millions of people who are sick and cannot afford medical help. We have millions of people who have illnesses their insurance company will not cover. We have the responsibility to find ways to eliminate these problems.
Some have said they are not their brother's keeper and have no desire to be. Perhaps, ultimately, that is the kind of country this one will become. Still, presently there are many of us who want to do something to solve the problem. We are not content to sit by and watch people die for lack of health care. That is the backbone of our claim to being civilized.
In decisions like these people very frequently use careless language. They say things they hope will please others. They say things they hope will make them sound brave and courageous. Actually, what it's about is being human.
Consider the children. Millions of them will not receive necessary vaccinations and other health saving treatments because they cannot afford to pay for them. Many young adults will not be allowed to remain on their parent's insurance policies while they finish school and are able to assume complete financial responsibility for themselves.
Until June rolls around, all we can do is hope for the best. We know if this effort fails some people will just roll up their sleeves and go back to work. And they'll just keep working until they figure something out.
I'm afraid to go to sleep some nights for fear that I will wake up in the morning and find that all the good people have disappeared.
I have been told adequate health care is a privilege, not a right. Maybe when we grow up all that will change. Here's hoping.
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.