I've been reading some of the (mostly hysterical) responses to the House passage of the health care bill, and they've frankly shocked me. Oh, the far-right nuts who are ranting about socialism can safely be ignored, but then there are the basically mainstream, basically decent people who are up in arms about universal health care's impact on their own plans or pocketbooks. Leaving aside the fact that these folks are mostly uninformed--no one who has insurance is going to lose it, only the priciest of plans are ever likely to be taxed, and overall the plan will control costs and lower premiums--their reaction does raise certain questions. Such as:
1. When did we become so selfish?
2. Why do we believe health care is good enough for us but not for other people?
3. How have we managed to forget that all the inalienable rights named by the Declaration of Independence--"life," "liberty," and "the pursuit of happiness"--are inseparable from health?
4. What sort of society are we when we have no qualms about funding the means of death--in the form of our bloated military--but panic at the thought of funding the means of life?
5. Where are we headed as a people if we fail to ask or answer these questions appropriately?
The health care bill, in short, is a test of our nation's morality. That so many oppose it so vehemently and unthinkingly suggests that as a people, we're failing that test.