Start with Medicare for all — then make adjustments

The Republicans are at it again. They seem to insist on trying to do the impossible. They seem bent on trying to do something they have not been able to do over two terms of an opposition president and the beginning of a term of a president and Congress of their own party.

They seem unable to rid our country of a law many see as unpopular. And an upstanding member of their own party seems to stand in the way of their undoing this law.

Is it the law itself? Many of their own party seem to support the law for its way of keeping many of them on some form of medical coverage.

And these are many of the same people who form the president’s political base. They seem incapable of understanding the conflict between their political views and their support for parts of the Affordable Care Act.

So it is not support of the law, by and large. It is support of what the law does for them. And that is what the Republicans seem to hold out hope that their political base will support — this despite the fact that the law is designed to remove that portion.

And is that not what drives most of us to support a law or a party? We want to see that a candidate or party supports a law that is supported by a large number of our constituents. It is what makes our political world go ‘round.

That does not mean we cannot support other ideas as long as they do not act in direct conflict with our own. If a blue ballot does not cause me any harm, I am willing to support that. If a green ballot causes a large number of people to not vote for my candidate, then I cannot support a green ballot.

Of course, there are a large number of people in the Democrat Party who do not want to see the Affordable Care Act removed. As I have noted before, it is a weak law that does not provide true health care improvement. It is a start.

So what needs to happen for us to have true health care reform? As noted by Bernie Sanders and others, we must have true measures to have real health care reform.

This includes a national health care system that allows us to have Medicare for all. While Medicare is an imperfect system, it allows us to begin the system of national health care. And this is the system that will bring true reform to our nation’s health care.

Is any system of health care perfect? The answer is no. However the answer is not to develop a system and leave it alone.

It is to develop a system and continually adjust and reform the system as needed. Starting with a system we know is flawed, such as a system that replicates systems of the past, guarantees failure. Starting with a system that others have found leads to some success guarantees some level of success. As with all systems, change over time can produce more success.

It is time for the leaders of this country to stand up and recognize what is right. Joe Donnelly, will you be the one?

Jim Matthews is a longtime resident of Greenfield. Send comments to dr-editorial@green