When I was about 8 years old, I remember seeing a news story about how the elderly people in the Soviet Union were struggling to survive because they weren’t provided health care or food. I remember thinking how glad I was that I lived in the United States, where we would never allow that to happen to our citizens.
That is who we are. That is the kind of people we have always been. We take care of our people because it is the right thing to do. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they came from. The only thing that matters is that they need help, and we can help them.
The fundamental teaching of almost all religions is “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” What has happened to us as a people, that we have forgotten this basic tenant of our religions. Now we beat each other up with Bible verses that supposedly back up whatever belief we are trying to convince others is the right one. I don’t think the Bible was ever meant to be used as a weapon. When did the word ‘Christian’ stop meaning to treat others with kindness and start meaning to denounce people who don’t believe the way we believe.
There are purveyors of hate out there trying to confuse the issues by throwing out largely inaccurate facts about what we could lose by supporting laws for health care. As a business owner, I may have to pay a little extra in taxes. People in the higher tax brackets would pay more in taxes. This is as it should be. I see no reason why we should be more concerned with the rich than we are with the middle class and poor. Believe me, the rich can take care of themselves, don’t feel sorry for them.
If I lose a little extra cash, so be it. Here is what I will gain:
— I will never have to see a four year old die of pneumonia because his parents waited too long to bring him into the hospital because they didn’t have insurance.
— I will never have to hear about an elderly person trying to choose between their blood pressure medication and their groceries.
— I will know that someone with a pre-existing condition will not have to worry about getting or keeping their health insurance. This is no small thing.
These are the beliefs that I have built my life on, this is what our country built itself on. We don’t just believe in helping ourselves, we also believe in helping the least of our brothers.
Dr. Celeste Lopez graduated cum laude from The University of Utah College of Medicine. She completed her Pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She is certified with The American Board of Pediatrics since 1992. In 2003 she moved her practice, Wishing Well Pediatrics, to Delphos and is located at 154 W. Third Street. She is the proud mother of a 13-year-old son.