The Heart of Healthcare: A Letter to Young Idealists

In the midst of the ongoing health care debate much has been said in regards to the rising cost of care, eventual taxes, possible rationing of care, and the need for tort reform.  Little has been said about the charitable intentions of such reform.  There is, I expect, a large number of mostly young, idealistic young men and women who may not be as focused on the logistics, policy, or financial debate, but who truly see their fight for public health care as a charitable crusade.  Comments by members of the younger generation on social networking sites such as Facebook demonstrate this charitable concern.

This trait is to be applauded.  I pose, however, this question to the young idealists: Why would you surrender to a faceless bureaucracy the blessings you reap when you accomplish a noble task yourselves?

We live in the most charitable nation on earth.  There is no reason to suppose that only government intervention can satisfy those cases where a real need for medical care would otherwise go unmet.  So, why are you so willing to cede your personal responsibility and the blessings that go with it to the government?  Private charitable organizations such as the Children’s Cancer Fund, Catholic Relief Services and many others like them spend less than ten percent annually on overhead costs, many times more efficient than the government, with its billions of dollars in overhead, duplicative programs, poor accounting, payment errors, and pork.

Help these organizations, or better yet, exercise your personal liberty, upon which this nation was founded, and start a local organization yourself.  Enjoy the bonds, sacrifice, and blessing of true community action; the joy of meeting and relating with those you’ve helped.  These are the benefits you seek to surrender to a federal committee which will not share your compassion.  

The cost, tax, policy, and law issues of healthcare must be addressed, but do not confuse this policy debate with the charitable issue that lies at the heart of the whole matter.  A wise president said, “It is not the critic who counts... [t]he credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”  Go, get into the arena, show true compassion and reap your rightful blessings.

Ken Hoover, LT USN

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