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Big Blobs of Gray



James Freeman Clarke once said “A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.” So it is with the so-called debate concerning health-care reform.

First and foremost, we, as a country, need to take a step back from the “debate” and allow for more time to really find out what it is the American people want. They need to be surveyed before a bill is presented to Congress, and not have something foisted upon them like a fait accompli.

Furthermore, no one can tell me that the United States does not have the money to provide health care to all Americans when it continues to waste $12 billion dollars per month on a frivolous “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, in spite of the angst exhibited at the town-hall meetings across the country, it is imperative that all constituents continue to demand they be held. The electronic age has removed what is perhaps the most effective element of politics: confrontation. It is healthy for the country (no pun intended).

As for the debate on health-care reform, can anyone explain why medical care is so expensive, and is it possible to provide it more cheaply? Why doesn’t the medical community promote preventative medicine? How is it that the American diet has become so corrupted in the past 50 years?

On the other hand, what momentary incentive has been established for the medical consumer? Should someone who refuses to take care of him or herself be held responsible? Will the public plan provide the same cash equivalent as a private plan? Or should my private-sector company just keep the windfall profit?

There are truly some strong positives and negatives to both private and public medicine. Some say there are “islands of excellence within a sea of mediocrity” while others indicate we live in a “vast waist land” consuming a “hi fat hi fad” diet preventing us from “fitting into our jeans by not fitting into our genes.” Perhaps the private-public health-care reform debate is just a big blob of gray, hopefully from which we can successfully integrate the best parts of the black with the best parts of the white.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio