Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

My Photo
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Friday, July 31, 2009

Republicans and Health Care

I spent some time recently with a number of Republicans. I asked them what they thought about President Obama’s health care reform. The answers were most interesting to me.  One young man, a pre-med college student, said he didn’t know anything about it as he was studying hard to get into medical school. One man who is in the health care business and receives government and insurance money said he was against as it was too expensive but didn’t know much about it.  Another man who lives on social security and Medicare said it was just too expensive and that we could not afford it.


A woman said it was too expensive and would hurt the economy. I asked her about the forty-six million children and adults who have no insurance.  She avoided that issue and repeated that it would hurt the economy.


These are good people, smart and thoughtful.  I guess they are brain washed by the Republicans as I am by the Democrats. So we need to do all we can to support the president’s health care reform package.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Religion and Health Care

The opposition to health coverage has lined up vigorously to oppose or water down President Obama’s health care legislation. The health insurance industry fears losing money, many physicians fear a drop in their income and many citizens fear their level of medical care will drop. Businesses do not want to help employees pay for health insurance.


These powerful forces are aligned in their opposition to the president’s plan, opposition to the will of the majority of American citizens and opposition to the welfare of the poorest people in our country.


Money talks. Appeals to conscience usually fail. Many of us can write letters, send money to backers of the plan and let other people know where we stand.


But here is an appeal to conscience anyway. Followers of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism specifically teach a duty to care for the poor and the sick by giving alms.


In Judaism and Christianity, caring for the poor, sick, needy, homeless and fighting injustice are deep concerns of those faiths. True, followers have varying views on how to carry out aid to those at the bottom of the economic ladder. But there is no doubt that care for the poor and needy is a basic teaching of Jews and Christians.


Secularists too, proudly note they are generous to the poor and needy without any religious urging, just obvious caring for others.


So I appeal to my friends deeply religious, marginally religious, and completely secular to support President Obama’s bold plan to bring health care to all and not just those who can pay. “Work and Pray and Give” to support President Obama.


Why Government is in Medical Care

We all give money to help the sick.  We donate to hospitals, clinics, lend money to sick friends, and give money to kitchens and food programs to feed ill people.  The work of Project Open Hand here in San Francisco collected money to feed men dying of AIDS in the 1980’s. But we know that is not enough. Individuals cannot donate enough money to care for the sick. Health insurance came into being to help heal the sick. The government was called upon to give tax exemptions to corporations to do medical research and later to rescue the elderly with Medicare.


It has become abundantly clear that only the government is large and comprehensive enough to provide medical insurance and medical coverage for all of the adults and children in our country.  Some forty-six million Americans have no health insurance.


Generous individual alms and donations are not enough to help pay for medical care for even the uninsured children in the United States, much less the adults who also need proper healthcare.


President Obama has sent congress a health plan to help all Americans have good health care.  I hope you will support this magnificent effort.

Horror Health Stories

Private insurance has failed to cover 46 million American children and adults’ health care. Many people with insurance cannot fully pay for their prescription drugs.  One man has severe glaucoma.  His doctor has prescribed two expensive eye drops that when used properly will prevent his going blind.  He has only enough money to take one of the medications. Caring for the blind is an enormously expensive proposition for the American taxpayer and serious causes of depression and despair for the newly blind person.


Uninsured people flock to emergency rooms for health care. Good care in these hospital emergency rooms is the most expensive way to treat patients who are ill. But for the uninsured ER care is the only alternative.


An uninsured single mother held a minimum payment job in a fast food restaurant.  When she was hit by a car and hospitalized through an emergency room, she received no salary for weeks until she could get back to work.


These horror stories to Americans happen because our government does not provide back up to what insurance companies won’t pay to provided adequate medical coverage for all American children and adults.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Suppose Health

Suppose every Medical doctor took a pay cut.

Suppose every Senator never got elected again.

Suppose every member of the House of Representative never got elected again.

Suppose all health insurance companies lost money.

Suppose every already insured American took a reduction in the quality of their health care.

Suppose every business had less profits due to paying for health insurance.

 And every American had full health care coverage.  

Wouldn’t it be worth it?

 I am convinced of it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Letter to My Doctors and Friends Who are Doctors

Health care for all is a top priority of our President and I hope for all of us. It is the number one priority in my mind. It may mean a reduction in the level of care available to my family and me. I think that is a small sacrifice to make so that forty-six million Americans, including millions of children, may have health insurance. I hope that you and other doctors will be willing to make some sacrifice for the good of so many people.

Recently, I had a problem that prompted extensive tests on my heart. In three months the insurance bill was over $25,000.00 for the tests and office visits. The cardiologist stated that my heart was not the problem. I was glad to know that. I did wonder about the cost to check the heart of this seventy-eight year old man.

The issue is complex but the goal is clear, health insurance for all Americans.

As a patient or friend of yours, I hope you will join me in doing all in your power to make health insurance available to us all.

Health Care-I am attacked

An old friend, a Republican and conservative, wrote me that my ideas on health care for all are a “crock of shit.” He is such a nice person and we have agreed to disagree on Israel, the Iraq War and we generally don’t talk or write each other about political issues. I wonder if he really does not want health care for all people, if he thinks the US is incapable of paying for it or if health care should be up to the individual?

I feel bad he abuses my views with a one line insulting put-down and does not share what he thinks about health care. I do not spend much time thinking about people’s motivation for their ideas or beliefs. I am interested in their ideas and thoughts. I know there are many differing views on how to provide adequate health care for all Americans. Other counties provide such care for its citizens and even visitors and aliens.

It is hard for me to understand and accept ideas, which seem heartless and lack sympathy for the sad plight of vast numbers of people in the US and around the world. I am glad that I grew up in the Judeo-Christian tradition that emphasizes these values of compassion and justice. Many Republicans also hold these values. It often comes down to methodology, what is the best way to get the job done. To put it simply Democrats want to tax more and have more programs helping those who cannot help themselves. Republicans generally want low taxes and few government aid programs. Of course there is a wide range of opinion in both parties on how to accomplish the best ways to serve the people best.

I personally like paying low taxes, but am willing to pay taxes more for programs helping the poor, sick and needy. I think only the government has the resources to provide and/or underwrite health care, adequate food and housing for all. In the same way only the government can support the military, social security for the retired and the law enforcement and legal system.