Thursday, January 20, 2011

I CARE.......

I CARE about the Seahawks because I choose to care. On a day to day basis, I could watch C-Span and FOX and MSNBC and as many other news outlets as possible and CARE about the latest tragedy or flood victims. The latest scandal or the latest disaster or even the public debate on specific issues before congress. Perhaps that is what I OUGHT to do. But it's not. I am more hedonistic and selfish then that, I guess. But all of those disasters and wrangling over legislation seems so inevitably repetitious. So circular. Yet nothing of consequence seems to come of it. Also, I feel mostly powerless to affect the outcomes. My hat is off to all those who take a political stand and ring doorbells or go to meetings and watch the politicians to protect us from possible corruption. I have been there and done that. The FBI will confirm it. I cannot say I liked the person I became as I participated in the democratic process. I was argumentative and narrow minded. I became emotionally stressed out, and felt largely unappreciated and ineffectual. I and all of the other individuals involved were not, in the end, ineffectual as it turns out. History has vindicated us, and the records support the belief that the anti-Viet Nam war effort was very effective. We changed society in the process. We changed ourselves in the process as well.

Some changes were good and necessary. Some were not. I believe the entire Viet Nam war and all of its ramifications had HUGE affects on our country. Most of them good. That is not the subject of this article and adds a sort of mushiness to it, but I want to reflect reality. Perhaps I will return to this subject some day.

I believe when an issue as significant as the Viet Nam war presents itself again, many millions of otherwise content sports aficionados and couch potatoes, and Nascar fans, and grumpy old men and women will stand up and be counted.

Perhaps that issue exists today. Perhaps the core issue at the heart of the health care reform debate will gradually escalate to engage the attention of Nixon's "silent majority" of which I am a member now.

As I see it, the core issue of the health care reform debate is this: Has basic health care benefits become a basic right of citizenship in this country? Today, it is not. In Europe, it is. Personally, I like the idea of basic health care being part of a citizen's rights. There are many models to choose from to make that a reality without the  upheaval of our way of life or bankrupting our government. Debating the specifics of those models and their inclusion or exclusion from various plans is not really relevant until the core issue is settled first. 

Issues such as building more medical schools and producing more MD's would go a long way towards the goal of reducing health care costs across the board, but The AMA keeps tight control on the spigot producing MD's in this country, and that  contributes mightily to the average earnings for doctors, and increases the cost of medical care significantly as well. However, that is a specifics of any plan to achieve the goal of making basic health care a basic citizen's right. Others include things like what procedures will be included in that "basic" level of protection. All doable. Certainly, no coverage at all does more harm and costs society even more in lost productivity, etc. by excluding preventative health care now before more costly therapies are required.

But debating the specifics of any changes in our health care system is more of a diversion by the opposition, who oppose ANY CHANGE to the status quo, when what we should be debating is simply: Is basic health care a citizens right? Is giving basic health care to virtually everyone a positive to the ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL health of our nation as a whole? I think the answer to that question is a resounding "YES!"

If that core principal was debated and voted upon by congress, citizens would clearly see where everyone stood. Just a proclamation that BASIC HEALTH CARE IS EVERY CITIZEN'S RIGHT would lead to further debates about the mechanics of systemic changes needed to bring about that idea. If we could get agreement to that concept, then bringing it about is not so difficult. 

Honest and honorable people disagree on the question: Is basic health care a basic citizen's right? If this country were to debate this issue, and congress were to vote on it, I would accept defeat if that was the result. I would know where everyone stood on the issue, and who to vote for next time. All any of the politicians, or talking heads, and even the press is doing now is just obfuscating the real issue which needs to be decided before those ancillary issues ought to even be discussed.  Wrangling over side issues before the core issue has been decided averts attention from that core issue. Yet that core issue will keep coming up until people stop getting sick and dying, or we decide to give every citizen a basic health care guarantee. Then and only then should we start debating how to achieve that goal. If it is not the goal, I want to know that, too. Right now I don't know who is in favor of it, and who is not.

Until some debate in politics engages my interest or ire, I will continue to choose to CARE more about whether Matt Hasselbeck gets re-signed by the Seahawks then the latest tragedy, or the latest scandal, or any of the political issues which are not clearly drawn debates - which simply frustrates or bores me at this point. 

Bread and circuses. The Romans figured it out a long time ago. Maybe the political debates are intentionally boring and pointless so we do not pay attention, and go back to our circuses. I'd rather watch an honest circus then an intentionally obscure and pointless political debate that is essentially rigged.

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