I'm new to the site and would appreciate any comments on this important issue.
I've been in my first teaching job (University of Applied Sciences, Steyr, Austria) as an English teacher for about five years. In these few years I feel that I have learned just as much from my students as I have taught them. One of the courses I teach is Health Mgt. (English focus), and as we discuss many health care systems throughout the world I am at a loss for words when it comes to the current reform debate in America.
I would like to be able to explain how we have reached this point in America and what is keeping us from passing a comprehensive, universal health bill, but I can't. It seems to me that a private insurance system stems from the fear of socialized medicine where German doctors were controlled by the National Socialism (NAZI) regime, but is this really the case?
As a Kansas native I grew up in the Bible belt, and many of these values I've learned (such as love thy neighbor) I still hold dear. But it seems to me that much of the opposition to universal health care comes from the Christian right who doesn’t want to pay for the health of others. Looking at the facts, I see that the US already spends more per capita than any other nation in the world, yet is still ranked about 30th in the world when it comes to quality and coverage.
In teaching this subject I’m often asked “How can the most powerful nation in the world not care for its citizens?” And this is the answer I’m looking for. I’ve discussed the role of lobbies contributing to election campaigns, but still I have no answer. For most of my studies I was without health care, my mom worked for the gov and my dad had been laid off from the railroad, and I was lucky that I never had any emergencies that would push me into bankruptcy. But what’s the answer for the many who have experienced life’s indiscretion, pain, suffering… and financial despair?
I don’t know the answers, and that’s why I’m posting this. I’d appreciate any comments to help me understand so that I can better communicate the issue with my students.