Pete Seeger once sang: “Where have a …

Pete Seeger once sang:

“Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?”

The evil Joseph Stalin once said:

“A single death is a trajedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

During his purge of his Communist party from “corruption & treachery” in the 1930’s, Stalin slaughtered nearly two million people. But because America was friendly with Stalin, the United States stood by and did nothing.

I’ve heard many Americans say, “Why do we need healthcare reform? 85% of us already have health care. WE don’t want to lose what we have just to help the 15% without healthcare coverage.” With this attitude, America has fought off universal healthcare coverage since President Teddy Roosevelt first raised the point over 100 years ago. The 15% without health care counts 45 MILLION citizens. That number is growing every day.

Unfortunetly, the “have’s” do not want to lose what they have earned and thus are willing to ignore the MILLIONS that suffer and die without proper health care. Subconsciously it seems, unless it affects them personally or their loved ones, it’s just another statistic.

As the ONLY industrialized country on planet Earth without universal healthcare, the opposition has a long list of rationalizations for why they lobby against joining the parade of nations that care for ALL of their citizens. Watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, each nation marched proudly into the stadium. Many countries have reason to be proud as they believe that ALL life is precious and thus provide health care coverage to ALL of their citizens. When the United States team marched onto the field, all I could think of was “When Will We Ever Learn?”

Sure, the United States has done much to help the world be a better place. Certainly, our citizens are God fearing people who believe in preserving life. But, I believe fear and politics has blinded many of them to the fact that if they lose their job, they will probably join the ranks of the uninsured. They will become part of the statistic. Many of them will lose their coverage when rapacious special interests such as for-profit insurance companies raise premiums so high that MILLIONS more will lose the coverage they currently enjoy. They will then become part of the statistic.

I live in hope that Americans will not only understand that we must take care of our brothers and sisters BUT that we must act to make that vision a reality. Yet, it’s hard to block out the thought that 45 MILLION Americans have been written off for the past century as just another statistic. 45 MILLION suffering human beings who have been segmented from the “have’s” as just another statistic. WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?


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