Please call your congresscitters and tell them we need a public health care system. Do it for yourself, do it for your family. Do it for that crazy blogger Matty Boy.
Public health care won't be perfect. You will definitely hear nightmare stories if it gets passed. There will people telling you the "I know a guy" stories for sure. It may even happen that you will be that guy. But under the mercies of private health care, I have been that guy. I have been working steadily most of my life, and whether or not I have had health care has been a crap shoot. Especially now that I teach, it's been touch and go, and when I have needed help and not had health care, it's put me in debt that I have had a hard time crawling out from under.
If we leave the anecdotal horror stories of private and public health care systems behind, and likewise the stories of the low cost miracles people have experienced when they got sick in Canada or Italy or some place like that, we have the general statistics of our system. In general statistics, we are pathetic. Comparing us to other prosperous countries like Japan, Canada and the democracies of Western Europe is a sick joke. In that league, we are dead last in keeping our babies alive once they are born. We are dead last in life expectancy. We are number one in preventable health problems like obesity. The league we compete against in those statistics is filled with countries like Croatia and Slovenia. We are almost as good as countries still struggling with coming out from under communism and Soviet oppression.
We accept for some reason that we should spend more money on our military than all the other countries in the world combined. We accept that we should have more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world. Those are public dollars we are willing to spend. Why shouldn't we spend money to end the nightmare of thousands of working Americans each year falling into bankruptcy because of one unexpected illness? Some of those working Americans who get in this miserable situation actually have private health care, but just not enough when the going gets tough.
The Republicans stand proudly against a public option. This is why they are a minority party. This is one of those 70% to 30% issues where they give voice to the 30%. It's not always the same 30% exactly, but it's like when Bush thought the government had to step in to save Terry Schiavo, a stupid stunt that cost the Republicans no money, only their dignity and credibility.
The public option will cost money. We need to keep the government accountable and stop the longterm slide into debt that over the past thirty years has only gotten worse when the Republicans have been in charge. This is money worth spending. This is what the Constitution is talking about in that little phrase "promote the general welfare".
We need to stop being the stupid Americans with the big foam fingers chanting "We're Number One!" when in fact, we're number thirty seven and struggling to keep up with countries like Poland.
We can do better. We can afford it. All we need is the political will.