I started reading T.R. Reid’s book “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care” this week, which I picked up at the library after talking about it in a past post, so I hope to write more on that later. So far, it’s a pretty easy read, not too dense or technical but contains a lot of readable information (which should be true for a good journalist’s writing), so I still recommend it.
What starting that book has helped me realize is that what I care most about is health care being universal for all people. There are many countries doing it in many different ways, but they cover everyone with some kind of basic care that allows people not to have to worry about general health care costs ruining their life. You would think people could get behind that much and then it just be the “devil in the details,” but I still wonder if everyone believes health care coverage is a right and not a privilege. Perhaps that’s the debate we need to be having now that a bill has been passed — winning the hearts and minds of people regarding the issue about universal health care so we can be better able to make more changes that will (almost assuredly) need to happen.
I read two articles this week that I wanted to share in relation to health care. The first article is simply Governor Mitt Romney on Health Care, regarding his take on the health care bill and how it relates to what was passed in his state of Massachusetts, a bill he backed. His big beef, at least how he wants to portray it, is that he thinks health care is a state issue and should be treated that way as opposed to a national mandate to carry coverage. However, because there is so much mobility of people within the U.S., and because you’re a citizen not of a state (only a resident there), I have to disagree and say this is rather a national issue. If the U.S. were more akin to the E.U., then maybe I could get behind that argument, but from what I can tell, all I needed was transportation to move from Ohio to Illinois to Wisconsin (and on and on, like I have), whereas trying this from Germany to Italy to Spain, etc., would take visa upon visa upon visa, and simply living in Germany wouldn’t get me free health care any more than me showing up in Boston tomorrow would get me free health care there. The U.S. is one country (for the foreseeable future), and health care needs to be looked at in that way.
The second article that sparked my interest was another in the NY Times “Room for Debate” series, titled “Stupak’s Abortion Deal and His Exit.” It gives an interesting debate on how abortion policy and positions affect politics. I’ve always been the kind of person who felt like not much would change in the political spectrum because of the views of whatever politician I was electing, so I never really even take their views on the topic into consideration. However, many people do, and many people will not vote for someone who does not hold convictions regarding abortion they can support. If you believe that laws banning abortion will end abortions, you need to watch Vera Drake or 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (or both), movies about those who have and carry out illegal abortions in various societies and time periods (1950s Britain and 1980s Romania, in particular).
Having never been a situation where I had to think about whether or not to have an abortion, I find it very hard to think about what I might do if put in a situation where abortion might be seen by some as the best option. And because I’m not really one to tell others what to do, I don’t want to say what is or isn’t the right decision in such situations. I think if it came right down to it, I don’t think I could go through with an abortion, but instead of forcing others to do that themselves by law, I think we need to discuss the issue in a way that helps people first avoid as much as possible putting oneself in a situation to make that decision, and also to help people realize there are other options beyond abortion. Perhaps that puts me in the middle ground that the article notes may be fading, but I think that instead of moving toward the edges, we all really need to be finding ways to grow closer together.