The need for health care reform in America is obvious. It's long past time for action, yet Washington has been paralyzed. The fact that 46 million Americans are without health insurance and some 28 million are underinsured has yet to stir the nation's politicians.
The fact that insurance costs have played no small role in the demise of the American automobile industry has yet to infuse them with the courage of conviction.
The fact that providing health coverage is a crushing burden to small businesses that is stunting the growth of the national economy's most powerful engine hasn't done the trick either.
Oh, the politicians in Washington have their reasons. Millions of them. Like the $47 million in campaign contributions federal candidates received from the insurance industry in 2008 alone. And the $29 million in donations pharmaceutical companies gave to federal politicians for last year's election. And then there's the nearly $23 million national office seekers got in 2008 from the hospitals and other for-profit health facilities. Another $14 million was dumped into campaign coffers last year by the HMOs and other health service gatekeepers.
That's a total of $113 million. One hundred and thirteen million reasons why Washington hasn't yet been moved by the heart-wrenching stories of countless people dying needlessly for lack of access to medical care and countless others driven to financial ruin simply because they had the misfortune of getting sick.
One hundred and thirteen million reasons why the best and most efficient solution to our country's broken health care system has been kept off the table.
One hundred and thirteen million reasons why the richest nation on earth turns a blind eye to pain and suffering and economic calamity, and why its leaders put the profits of the few ahead of the needs of the many.