News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective

Health insurance reform brings hope and despair

Watching the votes for healthcare reform last night brought a mixed bag of hope and despair—hope that finally we would begin to move in the right direction, and despair that this issue would continue to divide our nation in harmful ways. The negative voices will not be silenced, and as always with criticism, the no voices appear louder and are more destructive. Today’s media coverage continues to be filled with the doomsayers and their horrific predictions about cost, bankruptcy, and cries of socialism as well as promises to repeal the law. I can’t help thinking back to the decision to invade Iraq when there was little talk of outrageous costs, or the number of lives that would be lost or damaged, or any plan for how it would end.  Aren’t many of today’s naysayers the same people who supported that expensive act of aggression, and who now claim we can’t afford to provide decent healthcare to our citizens? This bill, as imperfect as it is, is where we begin because without it, we have no national starting point (see today’s Boston Globe for the bill’s impact on the Commonwealth’s healthcare reform).  

Amid all these accusations and predictions of doom, however, there is another very real and great loss we all share. That is, the loss of belief in our system of government.  Both sides of the aisle have become so divided as to be nearly paralyzed except for exchanging barbs, and citizens are disillusioned with the prevailing sense that all government is corrupt, all politicians self-serving, and there is little to be hopeful about. For that reason, I was comforted by James Carroll’s column about spring and moving forward, about human spirit, and our ability to change. As hopeful as Carroll seems and as much as I applaud the healthcare reform bill, there are many who are strongly opposed, who gather strength in their own negativity and promotion of fear. Somehow we must find a way to come together as Americans, regardless of party, to solve the difficult challenges ahead. To do that, we need true leadership that will inspire people to believe in democracy again, to insist we work together, and to show that better days lie ahead for all of us. During an election year, that will not happen unless citizens demand it.

posted in In the News, National issues | 0 Comments

  • Blogroll

  • Contact Us

  • Education Links

  • Local Groups

  • Local media