We are our brother's keeper...
A historic and sweeping bill that is set to overhaul our U.S. medical system
now goes to President Obama's desk to be signed into law on Tuesday.
The House of Representatives passed the bill in a 219-212 vote after more than
a year of bitter partisan debate.
The measure (not a bill till it is signed into law), which cleared the Senate
in December, constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care
guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than
four decades ago.
This $940 billion plan is projected to extend insurance coverage
to roughly 32 million additional Americans.
It represents a significant step toward the goal of universal coverage sought
by every Democratic president since Harry Truman.
Larger employers will be required to provide coverage or risk financial penalties.
Total individual out-of-pocket expenses will be capped and insurers will
be barred from denying coverage based on gender or pre-existing conditions.
President Obama said, "This is what change looks like," shortly after the votes last night.
He added, "The passage of this historic health care reform is not a victory for any
one party. ... It's a victory for the American people and it's a victory for common sense."
This reform is projected to cut the federal deficit by $118 billion over the next 10 years.
Healthcare has always been a very important part of me.
My work growing up, in the military and with my NGO whose focus is working
on behalf of the most marginalized of people.
I have always strongly believed that we are all meant to take care of one another.
On a very personal level I also believe that we are all one being, one heart,
one Self and when one part of the Self is hurting, it affects the whole Self.
This health bill saga reminds me of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's children,
Cain and Abel.
Cain killed his brother in a fit of jealousy.
When he returned to his home the Lord asked him, "Where is your brother?"
Cain answered that he didn't know. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Yes, we all are our brother's keeper!
Your brother is also your keeper.
If everyone were to be each other's keeper, no one would be unsafe
or uncared for on this earth.
Each person would have someone looking out for him or her no matter who
they are or what is happening around them.
We now have an opportunity of a lifetime in front of us.
Let us be our brother's keepers.
No one in our United States should die because of lack of medical care,
sadly each year over 40,000 Americans die because they were uninsured.
We now have an opportunity to bring balance to the daily health struggles
faced by over 32 million other Americans each day.
We all have an opportunity to reach out and share our wealth with those who
are less fortunate and less privileged right here at home.
We also can add to our health care reform by reforming how we reach out to others.
We can use our personal wealth, our knowledge, our compassion or kindness
as outreach and as individual assistance.
Our reward will be in knowing in our hearts that we have helped ourselves,
we have helped our fellow citizens
Whatever actions your will and your hearts allow you to take,
know that as Americans we are not guilty of inaction.
We are our brother’s keeper.