Signs of the Times
Acknowledging healthcare reform has been controversial would definitely be an understatement.
Almost everywhere I've traveled lately I've heard highly emotional and passionate positions for both sides of the debate. This past weekend, a large group of supporters stood on a corner holding handmade signs with messages like, "Healthcare for All," and "Everyone Deserves to be Healthy."Just down the street in front of my local hospital were additional signs that said, "Nurses Against Healthcare Reform."
ADVANCE, not being immune to the intensity surrounding this issue, has received heated e-mails from various groups as well as professional acquaintances about healthcare reform-many lamenting the government's inability to run the post office efficiently, let alone handle an entire healthcare system.
From where I sit, people who never "talked politics" before are doing so, and people seem to think they have all of the answers, even though I surmise that's pretty impossible.
In response to a Facebook status update from ADVANCE, "Healthcare reform moves to Senate after passing in the House by a vote of 220-215," Facebook fans offered opinions on what the vote meant. One fan wrote, "Vote no on socializing medicine. Think about it, people with private insurance many times have to wait to get test[s] run. In the event we socialize medicine, we could have to wait years! In the event your [diagnosis] is cancer, it could be life or death."
Another participant agreed: "Delay in treatment can mean death. Per capita, more people die from cancer, including leukemia, in Canada and the [United Kingdom] than do in the United States. The reason for the higher mortality rates in these countries is the delay in treatment, typical of socialized medicine. We do need healthcare reform but we do not need the federal government running healthcare."
I admit I have much to learn when it comes to healthcare reform, and honestly haven't formed a strong opinion in either direction. What I do take issue with is when someone mentions one anecdotal tidbit about healthcare reform or government-run healthcare in another country and starts holding up signs for or against.
What's the solution? I cannot and won't pretend to know. But I do know when I argue this issue, I want to do so from the standpoint of information and not emotion. I've seen more and more people on opposite sides of the political spectrum resort to insulting one another's intelligence to try and make their point. The political mudslinging has extended well beyond election season in our country.
Personally, I intend to read everything I can get my hands on to inform myself of the details of the government proposed plan. Then I'll form my opinion.
In the meantime, we encourage e-mails, Facebook posts, discussion board topics and other Web interactions. As the NBC public service announcements remind us, "the more you know, the more you grow."