Friday, January 16, 2009

Now, here's a bailout that I can get behind!

The California Nurses' Association has long been an advocate for single-payer, guaranteed universal health care. I have always been a believer in this approach - not just because I'm a liberal Canadian nurse - but because it is the sane and humane way to treat people. Anything less is uncivilized.

Now, more than ever, we need a single-payer system. Not only would it improve the health of America's people, it would also help to resuscitate the economy.

From that press release comes the quote of the day: Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today.

Socialized medicine was already deeply carved into the makeup of Canada's culture and identity when I started nursing school twenty years ago. I remember, with great clarity, the words of one of my professors: Health care is not simply a fundamental human right. It goes beyond that. The health of a country's population is its greatest natural resource, and should be funded and protected as such.

Last year, I took care of a gentleman with multiple fractures who had fallen down a flight of stairs. He was one of the millions of working, uninsured poor in this country. My heart broke to see him crying in fear and despair, unsure of how he could possibly pay for this hospitalization. I'll make payments every week until I die if necessary! he sobbed. Those words are etched into my heart. No-one in this, the greatest country on the planet, should ever have to utter those words. And someday, in the not-too-distant, civilized, sane future, no-one ever will.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Amen, amen, amen!