September 1, 2009

I believe….

Equity regardless of class, race / ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation. And we don’t have equity in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. Education and a living wage are basic human rights. Reproductive choice is a basic human right. Safety and security are basic human rights. Peace is a basic human right.

And healthcare. Healthcare.

I’m stunned by the debate about healthcare in this country. I’m stunned at the fact that our healthcare is so poor in this country: the U.S. ranks something like 13th in the world in the quality of its healthcare.

I was so thrilled – during the 2008 presidential campaign – that more than 60% of Americans believed that everyone should have access to healthcare. But now not so much. Less than 50% of Americans believe that healthcare is a basic human right.

What kind of country are we? What kind of people are we?

In other countries, healthcare is a basic human right. But not in the U.S. In the U.S. healthcare is a commodity that you and I purchase. Healthcare is a for-profit business. Ah yes, back to the corporate control in this country. The insurance companies. The great truth we won’t talk about… the role of capitalism in basic human rights.

“Universal health coverage has been proposed for nearly a century in the United States. It was in an early draft of Social Security. Yet each time, [universal health coverage] has been defeated in part by fear-mongering [insurance] industry lobbyists. That may happen this time as well – unless the Obama Administration and Congress defeat these manipulative special interests. What’s un-American isn’t a greater government role in health care but an existing system in which Americans without insurance get health care, if at all, in livestock pens.” (Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times op-ed columnist “Health Care Fit for Animals,” 08-27-09 New York Times.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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