Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My soapbox

Good morning all! It's 4:15 am here in Eugene, and I haven't been able to sleep for about the past hour, and I have no idea why. Lame sauce! I thought I'd take this sleepless opportunity to tell you why I hope we have universal health care in America some day.

First, I work in addiction recovery and we hear some very sad stories. I remember receiving an inquiry call from a person seeking help for their cocaine addiction. They didn't have insurance, and there wasn't a publicly-funded program in their area. They asked me, "What do people like me do in my situation?" I didn't have a good answer. I felt awful! Here was a person reaching out for help, and they couldn't find it. I'm sure you've all heard about hospitals dumping people who can't pay for services: sending mentally ill people to another facility by taxi in nothing but their scrubs. Terrible and inhumane in my opinion.

What does that say about us as a nation, not taking care of each other? To me, it seems to come down to selfishness. I watched Michael Moore's Sicko, which I thought was excellent, when taken with a grain of salt. He talked about Britain's health care system that started after World War II. The people realized that some people were not getting taken care of, and so they decided to start their universal health care. What a wonderful thing, people sharing their resources with those who don't have as much. We are all inspired by the wonderful stories of people sharing and sacrificing what they have to those in need in times of crisis like 09/11 or Hurricane Katrina or any other natural disaster here in America. I see no difference in what's happening with our health care system today. There are some people out there in desparate need of medical and mental services that can't get the help they need. They are in crisis too.

So what's stopping us? I don't really know. Americans seem to be inundated with an idea that "socialism" is bad in the health care system. I myself am very grateful for the "socialist" post and public school systems. There would also be higher taxes, of course, but I believe that most people would be happier to pay the higher taxes to get free medical and mental health services, once they see the benefit. The general attitude in our country at present feels like we don't have hope for what's happening at present. I don't feel like the government is taking care of its people very well. I consistently hear about funding for social programs being cut. The resources to take care of the people are being diminished! Another barrier that I foresee is that those that have money, power, and resources don't see a great need for universal health care. Why would they push for something they are not lacking?

I hope to see universal health care in our nation before I die, and I am going to work to make that happen. I truly believe that we would be a happier and healthier people if this were put in place. I imagine that many jobs would be generated by such an action. I think that our health would increase, our productivity, and therefore our wealth as a nation. I do also think that it will be a difficult transition, but we have the examples of every other industrialized nation to follow! We can look to them for guidance and help. Let us help take care of each other, please.


Scotty Sarah Asher Graham said...

I am sorry that you couldn't sleep. I hate that. I hope you find an answer to all this crazy health care stuff. Good luck!
My running is really just more of a legend at this point. If I'm lucky I run 2 days a week. Scotty is gone so much and with working on the house we dont have anytime for me to just go running for an hour. But that is ok. I am enjoying my time off. I think that by the time we get in our house things will settle down and I will be able to go more. Are you running?

Michael Family said...

I think the worry is that if the government takes over health care, they will not run it very well and it will be tremendously expensive. But I am all for a health care solution, because we certainly need one!

amydear said...

You will have many a debate with Kyle over this one, and I will be there to listen. Fun!

moi said...

Hey Shauna,

It's me Sariah. I was on Sarah's blog and found your blog...although I had to look for a picture to confirm it was you. Amen on the healthcare issue...so send me a note to me email sariahtoze@yahoo.com and we can update eachother.. I don't have a blog...maybe will sometime soon...anyway. Hope to hear from you soon.