The healthcare debate has been a major concern of most Americans, as the cost of healthcare rises at a percentage far beyond the rate of inflation. The dialogue seems to be more and more split along partisan lines. On the federal level, any talk of fixing the healthcare crisis often comes with the label of Socialism. It is puzzling that the most powerful Empire of the industrialized world cannot provide its citizens with the basic human rights such as affordable healthcare. The majority of the industrialized nations do provide this right to their citizens, often time at no cost.
One has to look no further at the priority of the current Administration than at the action of our President. His veto of the bill to provide funding toward health coverage for childern over five years is telling of the Bush Administration true agenda. Within the same breath of promise to veto this particular bill, he also said that he will allow passage of another bill that provide more money for the war in Iraq.
The dialogue from the presidential candidates have not been very encouraging either. The lone cowboy within the ranks of the Republican party who SHOULD be talking about healthcare is obviously Mitt Romney, whose state of Massachusetts tackled the issue with the passage of a bill last year. Yet he has been trumpeting the GOP line of government involvement in heathcare equals socialized medicine.
The Democratic candidates have not really done a great job at coming up with proposals that attempt to fix the problem either. The proposal of the top two candidates simply do not do enough to promise a fix to the issue. The only person who seems to have a plan that will even possibly deal with the problem head-on is probably John Edwards. But the Democratic party is too hungry to nominate one of the two minority candidates to show their progressive stance, even though the messages from those candidate can be consider if anything Centrist. Edward's proposal on the social issues facing the American landscape today, especially healthcare, are the progressive messages that affects the very lives of ordinary Americans. John Edwards' failure to get the Democratic nomination will not be because of lackluster messages, but his pedigree.
At the vigil, a small group of people came in shifts. Some talked about their personal experiences with the current healthcare system. While other, particularly those involved with religion, held prayers and sang hymns to the crowd. I became involved with the vigil after receiving several email messages on a Yahoo! group. The messages were geared toward artists and their inclusion into the debate. The majority of artists either work part-time, seasonally, or as a freelance. They are self-employed, and, in a sense, operate exactly like a small business. Obtaining affordable heath insurance is of great concern.
The vigil was held for 48 hours from Wednesday to Friday, both in Los Angeles and San Francisco in front of the Govenor's office.