April 4, 2011 marks the 43rd Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. A good way to honor his dream is by taking a few moments to remember his tireless, nonviolent protests for civil rights. Today we understand that the civil rights movement needs to continue every day in order to carry on MLK’s work to tear down racial barriers and maintain a stable middleclass.
A universal principle recognized by all people is health. Without good health, all the money in the world can’t buy you another breath. But, in the U.S. our healthcare system and its pending reform is a nightmare. As healthcare consumers we are all being held hostage by Big Money corporations who want to sell our well-being to the highest bidder. Lies and propaganda eliminated our chances for a well-funded public option in our current Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Even with Obama’s changes, today’s healthcare reforms are in a deadly headlock squeezed by the for-profit insurance companies. Now everyone will be mandated to reward big insurance for taking advantage of the sick and dying. Forcing all Americans to buy private insurance favors the rich and the poor, but does little to protect the middleclass from economic ruin.
We need a healthcare system that gives equal, quality care. The difficulty in passing this kind of reform came when healthcare insurance lobbyists spent millions buying politicians and spreading hysteria about a socialized system. The ACA does some good; but, is fundamentally flawed because it doesn’t allow consumers to choose subsidized coverage provided by the local or federal government. If a public option is so terrible, then why doesn’t private insurance let us decide for ourselves? Each of us could choose to spend our healthcare dollars between state, county or private plans. Americans are picky, if we don’t like something we won’t buy it. Remember Eight Trac and Beta? If the public option stinks then people will switch during their open enrollments.
Allowing competition between public and private healthcare would create true innovation in finding the balance between free enterprise and subsidized care. Only then can we have prevention, access and affordability for all. Remember we can’t pursue justice if we’re sick or worried about affordable healthcare.
Stand and honor MLK today, and everyday to continue his dream of justice and peace for all mankind.