I have been going through a bit of a refiners fire for several months -- and things have come to what appears to be a rather serious head. This has led to some awakenings -- and I have come to think on William Wilberforce.
William Wilberforce was a British politician & activists that the fight to end the slave trade and to abolish slavery in the British Empire in the early half of the 18th century. He was called a seditionists and struggled to abolish the slave trade for 26 years, and slavery wasn't ultimately abolished until 1833 -- days before his death. I enjoy the account in the movie "Amazing Grace" Wilberforce is portrayed as a politician firm in his convictions and willing to fight for them until they are accomplished. I am great admirer or his strentgh as a politician, and as an advocate for those with no voice.
The are paraleles to Wilberforce's battle, and the healthcare reform fight. It is a kind of oppression in that 46 million American's don't have affrodable access to basic healthcare, and it is wrong that 46 million Americans cannot afford the peace of mind that health insurance coverage provides, it is wrong that 46 million Americans face financial disaster while convalecing from serious injury or illness. This argument is about right and wrong! In most things I believe the market should be left alone, however in the matter of the health care the market hand is and has been to icy.
I was impressed with what I heard from the President the other night (however vauge it was). The fact of this debate is that affordable and available healthcare for all is the right move. I hope that our leaders on the right and left sides of the isle do all that they can to pass health care reform this year or early next year -- this is not something that should be delayed.
The part of the president's plan that was most appealing was the pooling of uninsured small businesses and indivduals in his proposed "National Health Insurance Exchange". Using a public option for the most hard-luck cases seems like a reasonable plan.
I'll admit my bias. Over the past few months my own health deteriorated, and the probable diagnoses that doctors are pursuing go from scary to terrifying. I am also the uninsured controller of a small local company. The fear of where my health problems may lead, and the stress of knowing the financial ruin that will come with it is agonizing. My children and I are high risk and virtually uninsurable because of a rare genetic disorder that pre-disposes us to cancers and various benign tumors. Even before we discovered genetic disorder insurance was unaffordable for my small family of 4 then 5. The last quote for comprehensive insurance that came close to rivalling the insurance provided by large employers was 2X more than my monthly rent payment at the time and nearly as much as my mortgage payment now. Quotes for HSA insurance was as much as car a car payment, and that didn't even include money tucked away in the savings plan. Federal and state guidelines for SCHIP and Medicaid qualifying gross earnings have always been barely too low for me and my family to qualify. We need (at least a type of) the major reforms that are being proposed, and we need to have the moral honesty to admit that this is the right thing to do.