Driving along Route 22, I cannot help but notice the number of billboards with a medical/health care marketing message or those that promote some “fund-raising” event on behalf of finding a cure for a disease.
I suspect that my recent illness makes me more aware of these messages. Certainly, the illness has added substantially to what has been spent on me or my family throughout a lifetime. $500,000? Less? More? More would not surprise me. Lucky that I have had insurance throughout.
So, why the thinking? It has to do with questioning national and local priorities, similar to the insightful bumper sticker message about B-1 bombers and bake sales. I feel the same way about money wasted on wars/tax breaks/corporate subsidies/medical marketing and other special expenditures by governments or corporations. They tend to target or favor powerful interest groups instead of helping research efforts and general health care and human development costs, like education, for the entire population.
I appreciate the many who participate in fund-raising activities. Certainly, it helps. They work hard to offset the pain caused by a less than civilized nation that ignores many of its people. The effort has impact. It is never enough.
Because the reality is that there are 330,000,000 individuals in the United States. 7 billion in the world. Bake sales and walk-a-thons and road races and mailings – and pleading for donations — will not solve our most pressing problems. A progressive tax system with redirected priorities would make a difference. Will this happen? No, I do not have much hope. Generally, I do not see this thinking in my leaders. In the few whom I do see espouse a set of wise, benevolent ideas, it seems they are the ones most ridiculed by a public looking to experience bliss, only to be unethically lured by the sirens of reactionary conservatives to crash on the rocks. It is sad to see how easily people are swayed by illogical ideas.
We are a sick nation, ruled by many selfish people, unable to feel beyond their own gated community or position of power or the idea that governance should involve only their group of rabid or wealthy supporters.
For me and those close to me to get this far in life, lots of money has been spent as a result of the good fortune that accompanies an insurance contract. Sadly, faced with a disease that may shorten my life, I’ll have to make a decision at some point about how much effort is made to continue. With the thought that 95% of medical expenses are spent in the final months of life, I will find sensitivity to how this would effect others who are younger and have many more years to contribute than I do.
This does not mean I will give up. No! I just recognize that I am not alone within a nation of so many. I wish people could understand what “scale” means when it comes to the challenge of governance. Food pantries and charities are not enough. Government has a vital role to play, and it should be financed appropriately. Its leaders should be challenged to think more broadly and not only for themselves or their closest friends.
To be continued…Please share if you are willing