FDR wanted health care reform but decided social security was a more important issue. Since the time of the FDR administration, multiple attempts have been considered related to health care reform resulting in many ‘minor’ adjustments to address issues (DRG’s anyone?). Unfortunately, no substantial beneficial change occurred that would benefit the citizens of the United States of America.
We are now in a position, decades later, to see substantial change regarding America’s ability to provide access to health care for all citizens – or perhaps we were in a position to see positive change. Suddenly we are reading about issues that are not focused on health care reform or reform of the insurance industry. We are now reading not about a ‘public option’ to allow all citizens to be covered, but a watered down ‘public plan,’ but private insurers – not the government – would offer coverage. We are now reading not about coverage for pre-existing conditions, but an amendment to restrict insurance coverage of abortion. We are now reading not about coverage for elderly, but reductions in medicare/medicaid services. We have lost our focus.
Perhaps it is the hope of some to get ‘something’ passed and begin cleaning it up in future years. Perhaps it is the greed and ethical lapse in corporate American that has been transferred like a virus to the leadership in the United States Congress to place party ideology before the concerns of citizens of the United States. Former Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey noted that the moral test of a government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of their life, its children; those who are in the twilight of life, its aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, its sick, needy, and handicapped. For a government that can neither educate its children, care for and sustain its elderly, nor provide hope and meet the needs of its infirmed, sick, poor, and disabled, is a government without compassion and a nation without a soul.
May we hope our nation finds it’s soul.