Why does it take so many people to have to get a serious illness before they decided to take care of their health. Why do we sit back and watch as our health care costs rise way beyond the reach of many people, i.e. Blue Cross increased their premiums over 45% just last year, and do nothing. Why do we put off for another day the “health care” challenges we face today? Why do we have such a short sighted view of what really constitutes this countries “homeland security”.
There are many answers to the above questions but one thing is certain that time is running out for this country, if it is to remain a “true” world power, to address our citizens lack not only of adequate but even access to “any” health care coverage. Let me say that health care should also extend to the mental health treatment as well .
I have had some personal experience with the health care challenges, when years ago, my brother was diagnosed with cancer. He was lucky enough, through aggressive therapy, to put the disease into what appears to be a permanent remission. What he struggled with after beating back his disease was trying to beat an insurance company into covering him with his “pre-existing condition.”
Thus, I became aware early on how the promise of American democracy seldom extends to our healthcare industry. When President Roosevelt decried our “freedom from want,” he couldn’t have envisioned that three generations after his death, we would have a healthcare system in America that is sadly wanting.
Sooner or later, we’re going to have to come to grips with the problem of extending healthcare for all. Now is the time to include in our new lexicon of Home Land Security the idea that “health care” is just as important to this nation’s security as are foreign terrorist threats.
As recent research bears out, “ conservative estimates show that over 800,000 citizens, or more than 15% of this state’s population, are uninsured. At least another 12% of Coloradoans are underinsured, placing them at economic risk in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury.”
Plainly put, healthcare should be a “ right”, not a privilege of affluence or even employment. But it seems unlikely we’ll ever get to this reality given the current attitudes of our lawmakers. They would rather talk “tax cuts” and “defense spending increases”. What is more important to our collective humanity than how we treat our citizens with treatment for their heath.
Therefore, until such time as our healthcare crisis is settled those of us who are employers “both pubic and private” should be looking at finding ways to extend healthcare benefits to the “greatest” number of people possible.
In our time, the uncertainty of healthcare benefits causes distress in people. Not knowing if children can be treated for simple illnesses causes parents distress. And distressed parents mean distressed employees. And distressed employees mean a workplace where less is accomplished.
We need to learn what the nations of Europe learned long ago: healthcare benefits make for productive employees. In fact, many employees in Europe who enjoy lower salaries are actually nonetheless more loyal to their employers both public and private, who provide them with long-term and in most cases, quality healthcare.
Talk to an employee of Ericsson in Sweden or Nokia in Norway about the security these companies create in their employees. Talk to them about the almost unknown phenomenon of rapid employee turnover.
It’s time we moved into the progressive world concerning healthcare benefits and the workplace.
Will this be expensive? Lets’ begin to identify the costs. Will it be as expensive as leaving great sections of our employee’s uninsured? Doubtful.
My guess is, the measure of security of our citizens along with food, clothing, shelter, and safe borders, is the ability to obtain adequate heath care.
I think it’s high time we examined the question carefully, for the betterment of our entire country.
Wake America to a broader definition of “homeland security”. Our security at home is as much in the hands of the AMA and insurance carriers, as it rests with the CIA, FBI, or the Department of Defense.