As an outsider looking in I’m torn between congratulatory messages and angst for the recently passed US healthcare bill.
The idealogical principle on which the Democrats fought for the bill is noble however it would seem that it’s implementation is somewhat problematic.
During the presidential debate Barack Obama made his and his party’s position clear- Healthcare should be the right of every American, while John McCain more or less saw it as a priviledge.
On being able to pass the legislation in the US congress congratulations are in order when you consider the odds they faced. However being an “alternative nutritional theapist” I hear the protestations of my fellow American alternative therapists and health enthusiasts.
The sticking point is in the requirement for mandatory health insurance for all – the only exceptions are on religious grounds and a few other reasons. As it stands it would seem that individuals would be penalized if they don’t comply with this requirement even if they are healthy and shun orthodox medicine altogether (like me).
It is one thing to be altruistic, but to impinge on the rights of one group of people to serve another is a bitter pill to swallow.
While the Tea Party movement seems to represents the fringe in this drawn out debate, to see the likes of Mike Adams a.k.a The Health Ranger speak out about it lends some credibility to the concern.
The noble sentiment that we should always protect the most disadvantaged amongst us is valid and transparent in this newly crafted legislation, however to deprive a single person of their own basic right to choose seems contrary to what America stands for.
The notion that we all have collective responsibility is right but not at any one person’s expense. After all as human beings we are all out there looking out for our own self interest. Self interest can grow to contribution beyond the self only when it has been acknowledged and a degree of fulfilment has been reached.
It remains to be seen if the powers that be are able to bridge this gap. Talk has been of Massachuestts style legislation to remedy this descrepancy as they have had mandatory health insurance on their books since 2007 and faced the same problem.
In the meantime we from afar watch and wait with empathy for our conterparts in the US.