September 19, 2009

Healthcare Complaints - By Rauf Naqishbendi

On September 12, tens of thousands of people marched on the U.S. Capitol chanting and carrying signs with slogans like "Obamacare makes me sick." This at a time when President Obama’s healthcare initiative has not been finalized or voted on by Congress. This demonstration was propelled by right wing politicians who are hankering after Obama’s failure, knowing that his failure is not only his but the nation’s as a whole. Sadly, our national business has become no more than bickering and partisan politics. We live in a punishing economic time plagued with slow economic growth, staggering unemployment, skyrocketing national debt, and an uncertain future. These difficulties can be addressed only through a genuine national unity with prudent leadership.

The national healthcare program initiated by President Obama is pivotal to tens of millions of Americans who are left without affordable healthcare, and this should have been embarked upon a long time ago. However, it’s never too late to do right, and the sooner the better. This is not about those who have healthcare and insist on maintaining the status quo with the attitude that “I have my own healthcare insurance; you go get yours.”  As a civilized nation we cannot cater to accommodate the rich of the nation and forsake those who cannot make it on their own and suffer. Notably, the rising cost of healthcare is crippling to our economy in the long run, and the existing healthcare system with its exuberant costs cannot be sustained. Doing nothing about it not only hurts the living generation, but furthermore, it will become more cumbersome for the coming generation to deal with. 

It’s perfectly permissible to oppose what the Obama administration is proposing as long as the opposition has a better alternative solution to offer, but criticizing just for the sake of raising hell is irresponsible. There have been some scattered alternatives by some Republican representatives, but so far none of them have been credible enough to be considered by the House of Representatives. The real problem is that all this noisy crowd has to offer are their big mouths and political anger. 

Let us get real: Republicans had the White House for eight years, and they did zilch regarding healthcare. Instead, President Bush allowed rich Americans a generous tax cut; unleashed financial regulations; helped corporate American executives who reaped billions of undeserved bonuses, only to have the same companies bailed out by American taxpayers at a later time; and engaged us in mismanaged, dangerous, and expensive wars thousands of miles away from our borders. They did all of that while tens of millions of Americans were left without healthcare insurance.

This opposition to the national healthcare proposal cites government’s inability to run this program. This implies that corporate America is doing a better management job than the government. They are dead wrong and should be reminded of America ’s biggest insurance company by the name AIG and how miserably it failed, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. The lurid results of the recent financial meltdown are still upon us, and we have observed the mediocre-to-poor jobs that American CEOs have done in managing their shareholders’ values and their depositors’ money. The government has been notorious for poor management, but that is not as severe as the corruption and financial scandals employed by the executives of the American financial institutions that triggered the current recession.

Should the lawmakers pass national healthcare, rest assured it would have its flaws, for its one of the most crucial and biggest national experiments. Due to the great number of people involved and the huge cost it entails, that is to be expected, but those flaws can be resolved with passage of time.

Under this program, wealthy people can still attain additional services without anyone to hinder such, as long as they are willing to pay their own. For those in the middle class who oppose national healthcare because they are insured through their employers, they should not be complacent or take for granted what their employers offer them. Many of those who are unable to afford insurance at the present used to enjoy the same benefit not too long ago. Hardships can hit anyone; illness can strike even the healthiest one among us at any time. Most of us could not withstand the expenses of major illness, as it has been ruinous to many and pushed them into personal bankruptcy. No one deserves to lose their life savings due to illness. This alone is reasonable grounds for national healthcare that will leave no one behind, and as such it should be mandatory insurance, particularly for people with families.


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