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What’s So Wrong About Health Care for All?

Last Thursday night, local progressives gathered in Downtown Huntington Beach to protest King George the Clueless’ decision to veto health care for poor kids. And fortunately, I was able to attend that protest. It is amazing how so many people understand the need for these kids to get the medical care they need, yet so many far-right wackos like our dear King George can not understand that healthy kids and healthy families mean a healthier nation for all. Even though over 30 OC denizens took time out of their busy Thursday night to protest in the cold Huntington night, and even though some 72% of Americans support health care for poor kids, King George just doesn’t get it.

You know, all of this is making me think. It’s making me think why so many far-right Republicans don’t understand the value of a healthy society. It’s making me think about why Republican leaders like George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger don’t see the value of ensuring that everyone has quality affordable health care. It’s making me think why so many of us are ready to take action, yet so little has yet been done.

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When some of us are gravely ill, all of us are ill. When some in our society are sick, our whole society isn't all that well. It's really as simple as that. Businesses are not fully productive when their workers are all sick. Our schools can not prepare our kids for a successful future when they are too sick to go to school. Our hospital emergency rooms can't operate well when they overflow with patients, as many of these patients couldn't afford to take care of their health problems before they reached the point of grave emergency. Now what about this is difficult to understand?

We know we're facing a broken health care system that is leaving way too many Americans sick. But for some reason, the President vetoes health care for underprivileged kids. And for some reason, Arnold the Governator vetoes a bill that would expand health care coverage to over 3 million Californians. Why?

These Republican leaders say they don't like the idea of "socialized medicine". But for some reason, they have no problem with socialized police protection, socialized fire departments, and socialized military. There are many "socialized" services that are available for all the public to use. We all understand the value of keeping our nation and our neighborhoods safe. So why don't more Republicans understand the value of a healthy public?

We all understand that a national military is necessary to keep our nation safe. We understand that if we were to require each individual to defend oneself from all enemies foreign and domestic, that we probably wouldn't survive as a nation. That's why we pay taxes to the federal government to provide for a common defense to secure our nation. Now why is "socialized military" good, but "socialized health care" bad?

Stop and think for a moment. We allow for a common defense against foreign invading militias, but we can't get our state and national leaders to provide for a common defense against forces that are already weakening our society... Forces such as cancer, heart disease, influenza, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, and other nasty ailments. And when these forces attack those who can't afford the type of health insurance that covers all medical expenses, these people are taken out of work and out of school. And of course, all these folks out of school and out of work mean a less productive society for all of us. This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that when some of us are gravely ill, then all of us are ill.

OK, so what can we do about our health care crisis? How can we fix this broken system? Well, we can start by telling our elected leaders that we want a working health care system that keeps our society well and functioning! If you'd like to send a message to President Bush that you won't allow for any children to go without proper health care, then you can work with MoveOn to host a rally for health care in your own community. And if you'd like to send a message to Arnold that he needs to join our legislators in taking real action to ensure health care for all Californians, then sign up with It's OUR Healthcare to find out what's happening in your community. After all, if we don't speak up and make some change, then we won't ever see the type of change we need to ensure quality, affordable health care for all.

By the way, many thanks to Miles Pendleton Images for all the great photos from last Thursday's rally in Huntington Beach!