As an El Dorado County resident, voter in California, business owner and healthcare provider, I find it extremely distressing to read and hear the stubborn and negative positions being taken on the Affordable Healthcare Act. Collaborative problem solving could get the sorely needed national healthcare program working smoothly and rapidly. We already have a healthcare system for seniors over 65 which has been a lifesaver since the 1960s, saving people from bankruptcy and poverty due to illness, and contributing to a healthier population of senior workers and caregivers as well. The new system, which is intended to provide for healthcare for all ages, is not a very different concept but is a concept with even farther-reaching benefits.
National healthcare for all is, to my view, an extremely critical issue at this time. For example, if our population can be assured of healthcare:
• Workers will know that they can stay healthier on the job by getting early care and avoiding long-term job absences due to extreme illnesses;
• Workers laid off from jobs through no fault of their own will not encounter the multilayered disaster of catastrophic medical bills for themselves and their families;
• Young adults going into the military and into advanced education will have preventive and supportive healthcare in their developing and working years, thus providing the country with healthier military forces and healthier college and technical school graduates;
• Persons wanting to take a chance on starting a small business will be assured their families have healthcare, even if they don’t work for a large organization which provides employee healthcare;
• Parents will know that their children can get care early, often avoiding parental absences from jobs to take care of severely ill children;
• Students will not be forced into school absences due to the lack of timely healthcare;
• Adult children of senior parents will be confident of getting care for themselves so that they can help and care for their parents if necessary.
As a high school student long ago, I was a member of Junior Statesmen of America, which encouraged stimulating debates and problem solving. We worked at gaining “a more intelligent and informed viewpoint.” During two different careers since then, I have focused on trying to foster intelligent discussion and informed viewpoints. I do not see either happening in the national legislatures about this healthcare issue. I do believe, however, that all of our legislators could actually choose to work together for the common good and a healthier population so as to protect the future of the United States.
MARGARET E. VANDERKAR