Barack Obama’s Op-Ed: Why We Need Health Care Reform

August 16th, 2009

It is fitting that my 200th post to this blog be about President Obama’s op-ed column in today’s N.Y. Times regarding health care reform. My submitted comments to that forum were as follows in comment #567. Last time I looked, there were over 700 comments on this article. It is wonderful to see so many citizens tracking the important issues after decades of outright disinterest in the governing of our nation.

My specific experiences add another dimension entirely to the need for universal health care in this country, expressed at the end of my statement below.

August 16th, 2009
6:09 am

Yesterday I went to a town hall meeting held by Senator Bernie Sanders in Vermont. Senator Sanders is highly qualified to run such a meeting given his very thorough investigation of the huge ‘inventory’ of material about proposed legislation, which includes the myths being disseminated about various proposals.

Vermonters tend to be civil even in disagreement, and disruptions by dissenting groups were minimal and brief. Those on the ‘pro’ and ‘con’ sides were given equal time for comments and questions, with Senator Sanders swift to correct the misconceptions so irresponsibly handed to the public by those with vested interests in fear-mongering. There is sufficient anxiety in the fiscal aspects of sweeping reforms without adding such idiocies as the concept that the government wishes to kill off our senior citizens!

After all, who was Medicare actually intended to save? Extending Medicare benefits to those needing/wanting them hardly alters the purpose for which such coverage was intended.

I am grateful to Bernie Sanders for bringing facts and civil discussion to a public venue, as well as for his diligence in the study of such volumes of material for objective analysis and interpretation. I am grateful to my adopted state of Vermont for the civility of its people under very difficult conditions of high rates of unemployment and the fact that many rural regions are medically underserved.

I have been fortunate to have had Medicare provided to me after becoming disabled at the age of 45 by pesticide poisoning. The fact that I had affordable health care also permitted the necessary reporting of my condition to authorities by medical personnel, laboratories, etc. Such identification and reporting is essential to the compilation of statistics for future regulation of toxic chemicals.

My medical care today, therefore, affects the health of your children tomorrow.

Categories: Newspaper Commentary, NY Times, Published

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