In May, I was told that I would be losing my beloved job at Greater Good magazine. There was no animosity; the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center simply ran out of money for my position.
In losing my job, the very first thing I worried about was health care coverage for my son. That first night, I could not sleep. Instead, I played nightmare scenarios in my head of Liko getting sick or injured, and us not being able to pay for the care he needed.
But that morning, I remembered something I had forgotten: Our city, San Francisco, offers a public health care option. My son would be covered, and so would my wife. I breathed easier--and focused on finding a new job (which I did, BTW--I'm now the editor of a website set to launch later this month, and, yes, the new job provides health care).
Good for us. But what about the millions of families who don't live in places like San Francisco or Massachusetts, that have no health care coverage? Many of them die. I'm not being melodramatic: People sicken and die because they don't have the money for health care. You know this is true. The only question that matters is, How can we help them?
I've listened to the arguments of people who oppose President Obama's efforts to reform the health care system. I really have. I've read the blogs and articles. I've listened to the speeches. I've looked at their evidence.
And you know what? All I see is a monstrous failure of the imagination. A lack of empathy. A rationalization of misery. A timidity. A stupidity. This isn't an argument. It's just amoral noise.
Around the world, the quality of health care improves when the government plays a role. Private charity doesn't cut it. The government needs to be there to provide health care to kids like my son.
Send a letter to Congress today--and tell them we need health care reform.