Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Health care debate

Should it be land

of the privileged?

Health care is “a privilege not a right,” intones one letter to the editor. It’s “a human right” asserts another. Excepting the world’s oldest legal document, the Code of Hammurabi, human rights are not written in stone. Instead, they are hard won products of human struggle, involving conflict, debate, battle, even war. This is evidenced in the stories behind the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, Universal Public Education, Women’s Suffrage, Civil Rights Movement and Wounded Knee. Each of these abounded in arguments that they would lead to the collapse of society, economic disaster, and wrong timing, and were contrary to God’s will. Yet every time we have made a significant step expanding civil rights and privileges in America, the result has been increased economic productivity, creativity and general well-being. It’s made us a model for the world. Societies that have denied similar rights and freedoms, have languished, stagnated or regressed on all of these counts. Today, we have an opportunity and momentum to rectify a serious inequity that exists in our nation’s health care system. It behooves us to do so. Or should we instead change our national motto to “America a land for the privileged?”

ALAN NEWBERG

Bremerton

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