Today is the Fourth of July and we are being reminded of all the good things about America. There are many wonderful things to remember about this country and I think most of us are aware of them. Still, those of us who care about making the country even better, do spend a lot of time talking about what is wrong. The League has many positions that call for changes to improve our democracy and our welfare. One area of change that many of us are concerned about is health care. We have read a great deal about the failures of the Health Care system, and Michael Moore’s movie Sicko has made this topic particularly timely. Still, as someone who has recently spent a week in the hospital, I want to remind myself and everyone else about the wonderful successes of the system too. There is nothing like spending some time surrounded by health care providers to make you realize how many people are cheerfully and efficiently working to make life healthier and happier for people when things get bad. We all have periods of illness and pain when we are dependent on doctors and nurses to provide care, and also on an army of other people–lab technicians, nurses’ assistants, physical and occupational therapists, food services workers, and the wonderful people who clean the hospital and make us comfortable. No matter how much we complain about systemic problems and policies that are sometimes absurd and wasteful, we owe our lives and comfort to people who struggle to make the system work. Let’s remember to be grateful to them and to all the other people who make life tolerable. While we try to change the world for the better, let’s now forget the good things we already have.
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