Healthcare reform is proving to be an intractable issue.
Why? Maybe it’s because it forces us to confront our own mortality. Contemplating one’s own mortality is like looking into the sun, someone once said: You can do it only for a moment.
The healthcare debate is forcing us to look into the sun for a long time.
Misconceptions abound. Some say it’s the willful result of those who would lose in healthcare reform. Confuse the issues, sink the reform. But anxiety and fear fuel most of it, I think. The fear of “death panels”—government bodies that would decide when life ends—is a case in point. Almost half of Americans say Obama’s reforms include death panels—even though this is patently false.
Here’s a question about healthcare I asked in a nation-wide survey I conducted just two months ago. I asked people to respond to this statement:
“Providing healthcare to everyone would be a sign that people in this country value other people’s lives.”
How would you answer?
The vast majority of Americans agreed with this statement (68%). Only 19% disagreed. (About 13% neither agreed nor disagreed.)
Do you think universal healthcare would mean we value life in this country?
If yes, why? If no, why not?
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