Tuesday, September 30, 2003
( 9:49 AM )
Meanwhile, Back in America...
In stories across the country's newspapers today, it was reported that the Census Bureau is reporting that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 43.6 million people. This is a national, state and local problem. Here in Oregon, our state wide health system, The Oregon Health Plan, which was next to none in its provision for families and people in this state, has had to cut to the bones because of the economy and because the state is having to raise taxes to pay for things the federal government won't pay for because it cut taxes. The republicans seem to think that Americans won't buy a new health care system if it means rolling back the tax cuts. But I would venture to guess that the people who need the health care most are the people who didn't get much out of those tax cuts in the first place. Like most of my friends, I would be happy to go back to the tax levels of the 90's if it meant that a plan was being implemented to slowly nationalize health care so that at least all children are covered universally to begin with.
This is the most powerful and most advanced country in the world. Why is it that we can neither feed or provide medical care to each and everyone of our citizens? What good is it to have a country that can destroy the earth but does not care for its most vulnerable? That is not the kind of country I want to belong to. We must make it better. If we can change this country's priorities to care for the least of us, then it will be a country that does the right thing for all of us. Things have got to change - tax cuts and mumbling about adding prescription benefits to Medicaid do not solve the problem. I think this country is on the cusp of drastic changes, but good ones. We have to move forward - we can't afford to stay in the same place anymore. This country isn't built on money or technology or corporate power, it's built on human beings. And those human beings are ready to take back control. Food, housing and health care are rights that should be afforded to every one of those human beings. They are not privileges, as the current administration seems to think. Time to reclaim our rights as citizens and time to make a change.