President Obama, as part of his commitment to secure health care reform published an op-ed piece today in the New York Times, “Why We Need Health Care Reform,” laying out for the American people, and perhaps the world, the case for change. I am a regular comment contributor to New York Times Op-Ed columns and below you will find the text of my comment.
I ended my comment with the statement: “Now is the time.” There are times in the history of a nation, that certain reforms, regardless of the opposition, and, yes, even despite the fears of some must be overcome and guaranteed for all as part of the Common Good. One of those times was the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery. One of those times was the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States granting women the right to vote. One of those times was Brown v. The Board of Education decision of the United States Supreme Court that revolutionized equality in education for all U. S. citizens. Many more could be mentioned.
Now is the time for health care to be added to those moments of sublime national change, to join those great reforms, cast as the finest, hardest steel into our Nation of Laws as an inalienable right and an eternal Blessing of Liberty.
I work in health care, as a hospital chaplain, and I could give you a thousand more stories of real people whose lives have suffered and through their loss of quality of life and productivity America has suffered, simply because they could not afford health care. I am blessed to work for a non-profit hospital system that treats every person who comes to us, but this is a burden that cannot be sustained.
I support health care reform, universal coverage, and the complete overhaul of our broken and unjust system. I believe that health care is a constitutional right, just as freedom from slavery, women’s suffrage, and equality in education has become enshrined among the “Blessings of Liberty.”
I urge you to be courageous and strong to fight for every American’s right to medical care, as a blessing of Liberty that will build a foundation for a healthy America into the future. Now is the time!