Thursday, March 25, 2010

Financial Health Must Come Before Health Care Reform

I have been there. I've had to make those choices between preventive care and buying groceries, but I never asked anyone for a handout. I budget and save until I can afford what I want or need. I would expect no less from other able-bodied people too. I have watched hard-earned money my husband makes in his own business go to taxes for programs he doesn't like or agree with, but there comes a time when this country must get its financial house in order. Recently, someone on Facebook wrote me this: "I agree the financial end is a mess, but so is the human side." This is exactly why there is such a split in the health care reform debate. I and many others see it as an economic issue while others see the human side. However, if we don't look at the financial side first, the human side can never follow. In fact, it will only exacerbate the human side because we will have created an entire generation of "dependent" people who will be unable to sustain themselves without the help of "big brother" government.

So, is health care a "right" under our Constitution? I think not one document would show evidence that our founding fathers ever intended the Declaration of Independence's statement that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is an inalienable right that applies to health care. Our founding fathers also knew that if the government can create a human right, it can also take it away. If we live our personal lives like the government runs itself, I think you would have to agree that the current spending patterns are not sustainable....health care, social security, medicare, and medicaid....all of the entitlement programs.

I worked in politics and in government for many years and watched these entitlement programs run the budget and the tax system. This is not a Republican-Democrat issue either! Both parties have contributed to this problem. One thing that would help is term limits, but even that doesn't guarantee that politicians will make the hard choices, but, instead, continue to be short-sighted about America's financial health. What it will take is much sacrifice by everyone, but especially our politicians who must be more interested in serving others rather than themselves. Quite the opposite is true. Instead, Congress has ignored, been bribed, and given in to political pressure all in the "name" of power and control. And it doesn't matter if that control is a Republican or Democrat. They both love the power and priviledges that come with control.

Unfortunately, history shows us what happens to a country when it is indebted to another nation or group of nations. It is hard to look at this reality, but if our generation doesn't, who will? If you aren't afraid, you really should be. This is a scary time in our nation when this generation must make more sacrifices than the generations that have come before us if we want to pass along a prosperous nation to our children and grandchildren. I do hope this new health care legislation will not bring our nation down. But hope alone won't change what is happening in this nation...hope won't pay the bills this country owes to China, and it won't get this huge deficit spending under control. Hard choices do.

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