Several times during the “Trumpcare/Ryancare” debate, I heard Republican politicians and consultants state disdainfully that, “Healthcare is not a right but is a responsibility.” That is one of the radical right’s talking points, and it is being repeated relentlessly and without a single twinge of doubt.
To be clear, these are the only leaders in the world who believe this. They say it again and again, as if it is common sense and something that everyone thinks or believes. This works well in a nation that refuses to learn the language, traditions, and values of the rest of the world. The FACT is that EVERY OTHER industrialized nation believes that healthcare is a human right. THEY believe that when our founders say that all people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” this should include food, clean air and water, and healthcare.
The truth is “Obamacare” originally was the Republicans’ idea of how to provide better healthcare by forcing everyone to buy insurance on the “free market.” It was their idea that we could best provide medical care for all Americans by supporting one of the most profitable and exploitative industries. The Republicans loved the idea when it was theirs, but once an African-American president got it passed the idea immediately became evil.
What we really need is universal, single-payer healthcare so that every American, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, receives the same care. THAT is equality and the route to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unless your higher value is profit for major corporations, the idea that everyone is provided the same medical care is the most democratic approach to this. Still, more political leaders say “health insurance is not a right” than healthcare is a human right.
Those of us who are followers of the Divine Healer named Jesus MUST be the countervailing voice, or those who profit from human sickness and suffering, and those who love their political donations, will set the agenda. Soon the average American will agree with them, rather than Jesus or, for that matter, our founding forebears
Rev. Michael Piazza