Things aren't so great in the U.S. right now.
There is a shooting by some crazed person in a public place at least once per week. Unemployment is still high even though the economy is supposedly doing better. Politicians and news commentators are still unable to speak in a civilized way to those who disagree with them. The new health care system roll-out, which should have been a good thing, is turning into a bad thing because of computer problems. Food stamps are being cut. Mitt Romney is trying to find his way back onto the political scene (which to me, might be the worst thing of all).
The whole country seems to be in a bad mood.
I was talking about this yesterday with a group of friends, and one friend said that it all boils down to community. You can't just focus on yourself and your family, and not care about everyone else. We are all part of a whole. If things are going badly for some folks, we can't just ignore them. We have an obligation to help.
She is so right.
Obama's health care program was intended to ensure that everyone in the country has a good, basic level of health care. This is not a crazy thing. Most first world countries have this. But politicians and commentators are acting like this is absolutely the worst idea ever. I just can't see why.
Some say that if you don't have health insurance, you just go to the emergency room for care. But don't they realize that taxpayers pay for those who come to the ER without insurance? And that the care given in the ER is more expensive than if those folks just went to a regular doctor? It's so short-sighted.
Programs like unemployment and food stamps are designed to help folks who are in a bind, who need a helping hand. But commentators and politicians can only focus on those who abuse the system, as if these outliers prove that the programs are bad. They aren't bad programs, and they are helping people. But somehow that kind of help is looked down upon in our "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" country.
It's frustrating that the new health care website isn't working correctly, but a lot of websites aren't working correctly these days (including the MA unemployment system website, the SNAP program computers that weren't working a few weeks ago, and others) . That doesn't mean that the whole healthcare program won't work. It's a temporary thing. But folks can't see the big picture.
What we need are less guns, more jobs, less vitriol, more healthcare, more food stamps, less hate, more help for those who need it.
If only it were that easy.