April 6, 2008

Do We Have A Right To Health Care?

I think we have a right to the basic foundations of good health--clean air and water, healthy food, and warmth. And plenty of sleep and affectionate touch. Providence had arranged a world where obtaining these needs led to exercise and cooperation. But then coal, oil, wage-slavery, and adolescence were discovered, not necessarily in that order.

I don't think we have the right to live forever, nor does it sound like much more fun than never sleeping. (And the real solution to the social-security/medicare 'crisis' is to invest in truly sustainable development, like early childhood education, apprenticeships, and eco-villages, not Bechtel and Blackwater.)

I do think we have the right to expect the legislature to approve sensible bills such as SB840 which can improve basic and preventive care while cutting the costs of red tape and the number of emergency room visits. Is the Republican policy of cutting government investment in societal health in order to increase private monetary profits our real health care problem?

As my golden birthday recedes behind me, I feel my body begin to soften and slow down. Eating right and exercising regularly are really great health care investments, and I continue to reap the dividends. But accidents happen, such as broken bones and mutations. That's what affordable health insurance should be there for. And also for key, simple modern preventives such as vaccinations. But no health care system will ever be able to do everything for everyone.

My prescription for myself is to get as much as I can of the foundations listed above. And also to try to get them in ways that minimize exploitation, and maximize the exercise and cooperation in one's life. And of course I try to inform others of these benefits, but they are often too busy watching TV which peddles a lot of junk. Germs are not the real problem.

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