Have you ever considered how many American children catch common colds because their neighbor's children don't have adequate health care? Mainstream media prefers to debate superficial "sides", rather than inform us regarding the obvious need for universal health coverage in light of the overwhelming medical facts of contagious diseases.
Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars combined. Yet, in spite of the known historical record, Americans continue to ignore the inevitable consequences of contagious disease; consequences including significant preventable illness even for those with health coverage, large productivity losses and national leading to global plague.
Some plead we should care about the less fortunate, while others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for coverage than citizens of any other nation, yet we are ranked 37th in health care quality and even lower in availability. Some former Soviet block and Southeast Asian nations offer better coverage; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.
Over 45 million U.S. residents have zero health care; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage. More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems. Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid care and retirement benefits, including long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.
Depending on provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while less than 8% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us. Very plainly, private health care as we currently have, is not the solution.
Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America's security, while continuing to ignore our immediate health care reality. Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation, because disease knows no boundaries. Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy. Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.
In reality, less than 1% of U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs. All forms of private health insurance are "shared responsibility" programs, dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.
Yet, right-wing media pretends coverage is not a "shared responsibility", that we should all take care of our own selves. People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income. And they clearly don't understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage. Or, what can and will happen to their own children, if their neighbor's children remain uncovered.
Scientists claim our planet is overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons won't protect us against the onslaught of disease. And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.
Is it fair to say that citizens who do not push for immediate affordable and adequate health coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders, are decidedly unpatriotic? Is it fair to say they don't even care about their own children?
Richard Aberdeen is a Nashville, Tennessee based author and songwriter and owner of Freedom Tracks Records, a multi-genre independent record label focusing on political and social issues, where the music is always free.