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If Only....

By Dian Vujovich

If only our forefathers had the foresight to include a fourth inalienable right in the Declaration of Independence we might not be in health care conundrum we’re in.

You know, if that famous phrase read like this, “Life, liberty, health care and the pursuit of happiness …” what a better place this could be. But they didn’t and why would they; the average life expectancy of someone born in 1776 was about 35 years.

So here we are, 233 years later, with a life expectancy more than double that and the fastest growing age group today are folks aged 100 and up. Oh my.

At the very crux of solving the health care issue is a question we all need to ask ourselves: “Do you think that health care for the citizens of America is a right or a privilege?” Your answer will determine how you feel health care concerns ought to be dealt with, plain and simple.

I happen to think that it’s a right and one that the government ought to play a big role in providing. How else can you care for a nation of 305 million—and growing–where salaries and opportunities aren’t equal and never have been or we wouldn’t have the various classes our citizens fall into; inherited genetic diseases vary from individual to individual and may surface at any time during a life no matter how health conscious they have been; and life styles as varied as the fingerprints on one’s hand.

We provide our citizens with an army to protect us from our outside enemies, how about something to protect us from those lurking inside our bodies. Okay, that may sound corny but you get my drift.

Yup, a government sponsored plan will cost taxpayers money. Probably a lot.
We could, however, cover some of those costs by profit and non-profit businesses subsidizing clinics around the country. And a tax similar to FICA– the amount of it calculated around one’s income and size of their family in which everybody would pay. Except the poor. For some, that would be a bitter pill to swallow; for others a welcomed relief.

I’m not a fan of Max Baucus’ health care proposal (a good overview of it at: http://tinyurl.com/mkqhec) because I think it’s too expensive for the average family. But that’s what can happen when folks in the top income brackets, (Congress men and women, for example, earn $170,000 annually), decide how much others, with far less annual income, ought to spend. It’s jagged reasoning.

Oh, if only we were all created equal.

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