This post is the rough draft of Chapter 9, section II A of my non-fiction WiP, Do Better, fka Baby Floors. This part of chapter 9 will introduce the early years of mapping out a path to get there for Phase III. Universal Health Care should include having stable and safe housing, no? Or should it?
The overall objective remains that of putting a floor on poverty so that each and every baby born can have a safe childhood.
Outlines for chapter 9 will attempt to match with each section, at the bottom of early years posts.
Once again, by way of disclaimer, the overall goal is now to explain why we need both equ. + justice, & why in 4 phases. This chapter is part of showing what Phases I-IV could look like as potential roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us. This vision is laid out in the hope that All HumanKind will eventually have each person’s basic needs met, without taking anything from anyone, and without violence, intimidation, nor coercion of any kind.
(Chapter 9 Introduction, section I. was last week)
Chapter 9, section II. A.
II. A (1387/1k wds). Universal Hlt Care in the early days of Phase III, how to get there
1 (406/250 wds).
While, given the number of other nations who already have some form of a single payer system of universal health care for all residents, or even visitors, this would seem to be a ‘no-brainer’ to most reasonable people, there will need to be education during this entire phase around the need for and benefits to society of having a sps of universal health care in the USA. The question of how to pay for such a system, let alone how to pay for free education, which will be dealt with in the next section, comes up rather frequently in these discussions. Likewise, the issue of free riders on any universal system, whether it be of health care, or education, or any other universally offered common good, also comes up frequently. The risk of free riding, or of abuse of these systems, is one that cannot be denied, but one that we should equally consider as part of our responsibility toward standing for Human Rights. Where every one of us is safe and freely able to give the best of ourselves, forming part of a truly just society, would we all not feel ashamed to contribute to that society, unless ill or simply exhausted? It can be asserted that until one lives in a fully just and equitable society, the issue of abuse of the existing unjust system is merely a by-product of the injustice of that unjust system. In an equitable system, motivation to abuse the system should be greatly reduced, but both agency and systemic structures play a part in encouraging both bad behavior and good. Noah, living in Sodom, was a good man in his generation, but perhaps not so good compared to the standards of a better time and place. In like manner, when all of society has free and full access to proper health care, not only is each individual then more responsible for taking care personal health, but each individual is also far more likely to do so, both for personal reasons and by being encouraged in a wide variety of ways to do so, from working at a stand up desk, to walking to work, to being able to spend more time with family, and taking family walks together to vegan picnic events outside the library. As societal expectations move from normalizing unhealthy habits and behaviors, to normalizing healthy behaviors, those individuals who have had to work alone to bear the standard of health no longer stand apart, and all of society moves toward a new level of normalcy, in which we all understand that our own personal interests are also best served by helping to improve each part of this society’s systems. Where this society works for all of us, abuse is tremendously reduced.
2 (278/250 wds).
Coming up with measurements and milestones for the early years of Universal Health Care, during Phase III, may require extreme creativity. First of all, given the fact that any single payer system for universal health care is not going to be a grassroots funded system, as it either exists or it does not exist, there may not, at first, be very much to measure, in terms of outcomes, or public health statistics. Local health clinic practitioners can certainly push for more forms of preventative health care, more clinic hours and staff, longer mental health care therapy times, and for paid classes at libraries, but this does not lead directly to a single payer system. Progress will most likely need to be measured in terms of amount of pressure on lawmakers in the form of lobbying in favor of legislation for a fully sps health care system, likely for citizens first, then for all residents, and finally, universal. Letter campaigns to our federal senators and representatives, both while they are in session in DC, and also while they are back in their home visits, may be a crucial tool. Ideas like ‘walk to your federal senator’s office for health care’ may also be part of the tool set for this campaign. Much of the work on this issue will be handled, at this point, by the newer generation of leaders, as the generation who pushed for the upgrading of physical public infrastructure during Phase I pass the baton to those who will now continue to push for the upgrading of our moral and human rights related infrastructure, starting with fully accessible health care for all members of our society.
3 (352/250 wds).
Tools and 1-minute activities for Universal Health Care, in the beginning years of Phase III will probably need to build on those already developed during Phases I and II, as the new generation of citizens takes up the task of studying the existing tools, and either adapting them for this new purpose, or creating and building new tools better suited to the campaign ahead. Workshops given by health care practitioners can emphasize their daily hands on experience with the lack of ability to pay, and how that affects the patients that they see, or become unable to see properly. They can also testify to the damage that policies like limiting procedures to one per appointment, while limiting patients to one appointment per day, and how much more difficult this can make the life of a working person. Campaign tools such as multimedia, the arts, pamphlets, and PSAs should form part of this push for UHC as a sps, for example with walks from local health clinics to offices of senators and federal reps, in conjunction with a slogan like ‘Your health is our health’ to be shared on social and multimedia outlets. Reminding us all that “doing your part to stay healthy keeps us all healthy” should remain part of this campaign, even as it steps up into the legislative arena from the local public health sphere. Likewise, the campaign to end particle contamination through smoking cessation and encouraging the use of medical marijuana through oils, edibles, and patches, should be added to the understanding of how strong, self-disciplined, community aware citizens who work to take care of themselves and of others at the same time. Workshops by volunteers, particularly by newly recognized “Adults” in every community, can emphasize their personal techniques for emotional self defense as part of community self and health defense. Finally, the old fashioned distribution of sample letters to the editor should still be effective, and could also be sent to the federal law makers of each person, with a personal addendum of how having a universal health care system would impact that person’s life for the better.
4 (261/250 wds).
Clearly, the practical use of a sps universal health care system is inestimable, and needs no explaining. The symbolic uses of such a system, however, are myriad. One symbolic use of having a system of universal health care in which one need not worry about the stress of dealing with multiple payment systems or insurers while one is ill, is that each person taking care of oneself is in fact equivalent, in overall terms, to each person taking care of our entire society. Being mindful of that can help to solve many of our problems with individual health risks, such as unhealthy eating habits, smoking, or lack of exercise. Having a single payer universal health care system can also symbolize a society where people matter. Having a single payer universal health care system certainly symbolizes a society in which Human Rights matter. Lastly, but certainly neither least nor even the end of the list of possibilities, having a single payer health care system symbolizes the very real and practical hope that all will be able to stay healthy enough, or to recover when disaster strikes without being sunk in debt, to contribute fully to our society. This set of symbolic and practical uses for a fully viable public health care system interconnect with and contribute to the usefulness of a fully viable and robust public education system, as without health, little else is actually possible. Thus, the next section will discuss the need to education in its fullest form in order to allow full contribution to society by all of us.
— (Next Wednesday: Chapter 9, section II. B. )
I’m considering this Rough Draft as the block of clay from which my book will eventually emerge, obviously, and some ideas for phases III and IV are still becoming more fixed in my mind as I write, so the final version will likely look pretty different from this Rough Draft, and will need updating once I get to the very end.
And once again, yeayyy( !!)with regard to audience, I may have at least a couple of comps: Walden Two meets The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective (by Dr.s Jean and Edgar Cahn, 1964). I know that lots of people consider Skinner’s writing to be stilted, but I like the tilt of most reviewers, in that the idea is that a community should keep trying policies that members agree upon until they find what works for all of them.
As for genre, I’m still wondering: clearly part of Non-fiction.
Maybe also: System Change, Causes, maybe even Inspirational, but I doubt it.
1.) Share some ideas you may have on how our society can solve homelessness and child abuse, starting right now,
2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.
Thoughtful Readers, what ideas do you have on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?
Click here to read, if you like:
Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following #Project Do Better on Twitter.
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.