The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 5, 2009

Health reform must help everyone

I know that as you read this, many of you are going to disagree with me. That’s OK, but that’s also the problem.

No one is going to argue with me about the USA being the greatest country in the world. We have so much and we have so much to offer and we are hated by parts of the world because of it.

The opportunities in this country are not handed to you. Sure, we have welfare and other social programs, but they are crutches. Jobs and real financial success are earned, not handed out to those in need.

I completely agree success should be earned. It is my contention the playing field is not level. Our new president is trying to get us national health care. He received my vote because of his stance, as did Bill Clinton before him.

Without health care or health care reform, we are going to continue our downward slide behind other developed countries.

Whether you agree with me or not, other countries are healthier than us. Every day you can find an article about our obesity, but even more alarming is our children’s increasing obesity. National health care isn’t going to rid us of our problems, but it’s a start.

It is my belief that the best care shouldn’t be at Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic but actually at the Veterans Affairs hospitals. Our veterans shouldn’t have to worry about their health care nor should our police, our firefighters or our teachers.

If someone has the ability to be a doctor but they don’t have the financial resources, they should receive a free education in exchange for a five-year stint at a VA hospital. That should be true for nurses, physical therapists, you name it.

I think it should be an honor and a privilege to serve at a VA hospital. There shouldn’t be a finer facility in the nation and people should be envious of the care our vets receive as opposed to being ashamed of it.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the government own an insurance company? How hard should it be for the government to come up with an affordable health care plan if we own an insurance company?

Everybody asks the same question; How come our politicians have free health care that covers everything for their entire life whether they’re in office or not and we don’t? I pay $700 a month to cover three people and I still have to pay co-pays and 20 percent after my deductable.

I have no idea how much a politician’s coverage costs, but if mine costs $700, theirs surely has to cost more considering it covers everything.

I would love to see a politician pay for half of his or her health care plan. A couple of months of that and I guarantee you there would be health care reform.

I mentioned a level playing field. Health care is just part of it. Education is the other part of a level playing field. It shouldn’t matter where you live, you should receive a great education.

If one school has something another school does not, the playing field is not equal. It’s not rocket science. Now there are many who will disagree and they will have their reasons.

There are many teachers alone who already believe students don’t need homework and there shouldn’t be evaluations or proficiency exams. Again, I disagree. Being in business, my superiors evaluate my performance twice a year. If I don’t pass their proficiency tests, I’m given the opportunity to improve or I’m asked to leave.

Every business operates that way. The only system that’s different is the government. Incompetence isn’t rewarded, but it’s not eliminated either.

The point here is simple. We’re citizens of the greatest and most envied country in the world. We’re falling behind the rest of the world in things we shouldn’t.

I believe our country should be home to the most educated and healthiest people this world has to offer. You can disagree with me, but I don’t understand why you would.

Harsha Gurujal lives in Danville. He has been a candidate for Danville alderman in the past.