Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Health Care Challenge
Michael Moore wants all presidential candidates to take a pledge:
When Senator Sherrod Brown was running for a seat in the House of Representatives over 10 years ago, he saw something wrong with this. He pledged not to accept his free government health care until everyone in the United States had the same luxury. (He's still waiting.)

Brown reasoned that politicians should have the same privileges as those they represent. I know a lot of the Democrats running for President understand this principle. Monday night during their YouTube debate, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson all pledged to work for the minimum wage should they be elected president -- to show that they're in touch with the plight of everyday Americans, and to make sure they are personally invested in making sure the minimum wage in this country is a livable one. Good for them.

Now, candidates, how about giving up your health care too?
I am calling on each presidential candidate to pledge to refuse their free government health care until every person in this country also has it.
I wasn't aware that some candidates had pledged to work for minimum wage as president, but I like Moore's idea better. There's no reason any candidate for Congress or the White House should accept such great coverage on the backs of tax contributions from the many citizens who struggle to pay for bad coverage, or who struggle with none at all. Until every American is covered, they should be ashamed to make use of such great free coverage.

Yes, detractors would have a good point: we offer such security not because of what they "deserve" but to protect the office, which belongs to the people. The last thing we need is a representative who has to borrow money to pay a hospital bill - the work of the people could become compromised. But you know what? Washington's officials are so out of touch with the concerns of the middle class - and have learned to use the office to make so much money - that it's worth it, to at least educate them about how much health care actually costs. So, I wouldn't ask them to go without coverage, but I would ask them to forgo the free coverage the government provides and to purchase their own like most everyone else has to these days.

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