Health care for all

Why do the members of the House of Representatives want to decrease funding for health care to Americans? Are they evil and mean-spirited? I don’t think so.

As much as it gets me riled that the AHCA was passed in the House, the impetus for these representatives who voted for it is based on their core values and vision for society. Take what one congressman said, “People need to decide whether they want to spend money on a fancy smart phone or their own health care.” Okay, maybe that is a bit insensitive. But it sheds light on this idea that health insurance is an individual responsibility. Just like there is a lending system that helps us buy a home, we need help when it comes to procuring health insurance. How many people do you know that did not take out a mortgage to buy a house?

Okay, back to core values. The pursuit of life and happiness is rooted in the American tradition. If you don’t have good health, that endeavor is greatly hampered or made unattainable. It is as basic as food and shelter. Just look at the issues of food insecurity and homelessness and it becomes clear that such problems bring down not only those in its grips but all of society, both in moral and financial costs.

So, what should be asked of those members of Congress in the Senate who are taking up the harmful health care legislation passed on from the House? How about this: Do you think people in this prosperous country should be plagued by the quandary of paying to see a doctor or wait until their health problem is so bad they call an ambulance and are taken to the ER? Do you think human suffering from health issues is OK if it happens in someone else’s home or community but not your own? Do you think it makes our country a pillar of hope and example to the advanced nations of the world that we allow health care to be treated like a commodity on the free market?

While a gang of Republicans in the Senate brood over what to do with the House bill, we citizens must act. Urge your senators and the White House to move forward with plans to make health insurance in America available for all as a basic service. Medicare is a good example for this and could readily act as a model to move us from a place of questioning the intentions of our elected officials to praising them for doing good work for the American people.

It is possible to make something good out of the mess sent from the House. Let’s get to work.

Manuel De Aquino

Ashland