Smaller government. That seems to be one of the political mantras of the day. I wonder what that really means to those that are doing that chant? Have they thought it through…do they have specific things in mind....and if so…what are they, and are they practical? What programs and regulations do these people want the government to cut? Social Security? Medicaid? Medicare? Wall Street regulations? Banking regulations? Would they like the government to remove the regulations that require businesses to invest in Unemployment Insurance or Workman’s Compensation Insurance? If the government didn’t force employers to provide this coverage, what do you think would happen? Do you think businesses would voluntarily continue to pay your wages and cover all your medical expenses? Let’s face it, without government regulations in place to protect us, we’d be in a world of hurt. It appears to me that the government grows as needs are revealed. In like manner, laws are created when it becomes obvious that a law is needed to govern some behavior. Would it be better if the government just ignored the needs?
This is where we are with health care. The need for health care reform has become obvious. Extremely high health care costs, and thirty million Americans that can’t afford coverage. On top of that you have the baby boomers entering retirement age. Unless there is some reform, the whole system will collapse. President Obama is being honest about this. He isn’t covering it up, he isn’t ignoring it, he isn’t going along with the status quo. He’s taking a lot of heat, too, but he’s acting responsibly. Bottom line, something has to give….and it might be all of us. We all may have to give a bit more so that we can support a humane system. I shudder to think of a time in the United States of America when seniors will be homeless and scattered all over the streets in large numbers because they have lost everything due to health issues and the associated costs of treatment.
And for those of you who say…they can just go to the ER. First off, that cost is laid on the government as well and it’s at a premium. And what about this scenario…you go to the ER and discover that you have cancer or some other issue that requires ongoing treatments. Does the hospital then schedule you for these treatments knowing that you are not able to pay? In my experience, hospitals will refer you to the appropriate specialist for follow up. Just try getting into a doctor’s office or a specialist's office without paying. What about any prescriptions that you may need…maybe for years? Does the hospital give those out for free, too? No, I don’t think that the ER is a good alternative to real health care coverage. I think it’s very likely that there are a lot of people quietly dying because they know they can’t afford to go to a doctor. They may end up in the ER, but by the time they do, it may well be too late.
What kind of America are we going to be? Forgive me for saying so, but I’m thinking of these scriptures…
1 Timothy 6:10…For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Hebrews 13:5…Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."