Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to sit with my parents and watch Michael Moore's film on the U.S. health care system (or lack thereof), 'Sicko'. It was my second time seeing it, and the first for my parents. It was a different experience watching it this time around because I got to gauge my parents reactions compared to what I felt my first time around. As the lone politico in the family, I'm always interested how I compare to them on various issues. While my entire family would definitely lay on the compassionate side of policy (read = moderate to progressive) they shy away from being "political".
My parents, like most others I've talked too, were shocked, horrified, and just plained upset after viewing the movie. They more or less said the same thing "Why don't we have universal health care?" Why indeed. The very thought of me going through the first 10 years of my life with Crohn's Disease without paying 25 different doctors and hospitals a month is hard to grasp for us, but it's a challenge we'd welcome in a heartbeat (pun intended). Thankfully, it looks like this area is making a change for the better.
I'm lucky to live in Ingham County, a place where our local government leaders clearly see the benefits of universal health care for residents as a means of cost prevention. Since instituting the Ingham Health Plan over nine years ago, Ingham has become a model for counties all over the state and country, because it works, and while it isn't quite perfect yet, it's getting there. You can be a part of the process by attending meeting coming up and providing your suggestions for improvement or just learning more about it. See this article in City Pulse for more information.
Universal health care is not something to fear, it's something to desire. It helps you, it helps me, and it helps everyone around us. The only people who have to fear getting sicko from a universal health care plan is the insurance and drug industries, and you're not really worried about their temperature rising a bit, are you?