Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 9, 2009

Letter to the Editor – Tying it All Together

We owe our deepest thanks to those representatives in the House of Representatives that passed HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. While this is far from a perfect bill, it is a giant step forward upon which we, as a society, must now build toward a more equitable, just and compassionate future. The trends of our current systems and institutions make clear the need for the US and the world to move in this direction as we face peak resource constraints, especially fossil fuels, climate change and mass species extinction. Health care is but a proxy for our ability to create a different paradigm of life and society, one that values our integration and cooperation with the ecological web of life rather than our command and control of it. The long-term effectiveness of the latter approach, something we have been trying for some 5,000 to 10,000 years is becoming clear, and it is clear that this approach has failed.

As a resident of Connecticut, I especially want to thank Representative Joe Courtney for standing up for principles that align with where we need to go and what we need to do. He as been clear all along about the need to fix the inherent injustice in the current system. He has been a leader in the house, moving HR 3962 along and voting for it. We owe him a debt of gratitude and heartfelt encouragement to continue with the job.

The fact is, we really need a single-payer system to cover everyone – including so-called illegal aliens – anyone in this country – that offers the economy of scale needed to provide the best health care possible, at reasonable costs; certainly much more reasonable than the profit-motivated current system can offer. More over, as we move into this new paradigm away from profit and toward genuine caring, we will focus on health and not just health care, wellness not insurance against the diseases that result from environmental degradation and stress-related syndromes attributable to our fascination with competition as the sole decider of what works and what is good. Our addiction to the self-flagellation of full-time jobs so we can lose our retirement nest egg at the hands of Wall Street roulette players and buy more stuff that we don’t need and that offers the slimmest shred of life satisfaction, and certainly none of the genuine connection we truly long for, is just plain silly and we can do better.

Instead, we can choose life and health as our natural legacy, integrating our selves beneficially into the wider world, hopefully before it is too late.

Consistent with these ideas is the fact that our new single-payer system can easily and must be funded through cuts to the military budget. It is time we wake up to the inherent violence of our society and change that fact. A giant step in this direction would be the creation of a Department of Peace and I urge the Obama administration to take this on now. In fact, I see enough correlation  between the issues of health and peace that I believe it would be natural to have our single-payer system administered through the new Department of Peace. We can start fresh with this new department, establishing a culture of integrity and justice that is so sorely lacking in so many other aspects of our ‘grow-or-die’ economy-oriented culture.

The time is now for all of this. There is no other course that will provide for the future of human-kind and I, for one, would not wish the coming difficulties of resource depletion, climate change and struggle for the necessities of life on my child or the children of anyone without first using the gift of new awareness to do the very best we can to change the course of our current destiny.

Let us tell our senators and representatives loud and clear what the world needs now, and hold them to it.  –


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