The Truth About Health Care
After Joe Wilson’s inappropriate “You Lie!” outburst in Congress during President Obama’s health care speech, I submitted the following letter to the editor to The New York Times.
In all the fuss of wanting to prove that Obama did not lie about wanting to provide health care for undocumented immigrants, public health care advocates have failed to stand up for the fact that it would indeed be better, if everyone within our borders were covered.
The letter has so far not been published.
September 16, 2009
To the Editor of the New York Times:
At times I am forced to recognize the limits of rationality in human discourse. And it is extremely sad to do so when the results of such unreasoned thoughts and behavior increase the risk quotient of pain and suffering for us all.
The latest: last week’s hiccough in the current debate about health care and Congressman Wilson’s groundless accusation that the President lied when he said that undocumented immigrants would not have access to a reformed health system.
As we all know, illegal immigrants, desirable to some and undesirable to others, have long been in the U.S. in large numbers. They care for our children, prepare our food, and maintain our apartments and houses. As a result they are exposed to illness just as parents and teachers are, and they interact with us as they serve to maintain our daily routines. Now comes Swine Flu, a new pandemic, we are warned, requiring us to upgrade our cleanliness regimes and to seek a doctor when necessary and perhaps get vaccinated. Meanwhile, we are not considering that denying health care to a large segment of the population that nurtures us leaves us all profoundly vulnerable to this new disease.
The problem in Congressman Wilson’s outburst is above all, that he was wrong. It would be better for all of us if he were right and undocumented immigrants were included and, better still, if the President had in fact included them in his plans for health care reform.
Dr. Colin Greer has been the President of The New World Foundation since 1985. He was a Professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and has written several books. Colin Greer has participated in and directed several studies of U.S. immigration and urban schooling policy and history (at Columbia University and CUNY), and Chairs numerous organizations.