Education issues are healthcare issues.
Children with birth defects, children requiring special education, and other children with special needs are now being denied their basic needs because they don’t “deserve” them and are a financial and academic drain. Fully qualified teachers have been scapegoated as being greedy, antiquated, immoral, and responsible for bankrupting school districts and states. An infant with a hole in her heart is not cost effective for a “new and improved” healthcare program. Expensive, state-mandated, high stakes testing provided by private for-profit corporations who insist on same-testing severely disabled and dying children are supported by various state laws. Now, we face a so-called healthcare bill that will cause children to die before they become eligible for public education by dedicated and accredited teachers.
No, these are not exaggerations; these are examples of the so-called “new normal” in Washington D.C. under President Donald Trump and the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
One wealthy old man, Senator John McCain, is hospitalized; he has superb, full healthcare coverage which is paid for by our federal government. Our U.S. Senate postponed the vote that will deny healthcare to a child with a hole in her heart because McCain is in the hospital and cannot vote. McCain, the son of an American admiral, has received government healthcare coverage his entire life. He went to Annapolis as the son of an admiral via a legacy preference, was an officer in the navy, a prisoner-of-war and then became a senator for decades. Even though he has been married to a very wealthy woman for many years, he has always had full healthcare coverage paid for by the government. Of course he deserves it, but so does the innocent child with a hole in her heart.
That child also deserves to attend a decent public school with experienced and qualified teachers, a decently funded school. A public school that is not being drained of its public education funds in order to shovel profits to greedy multinational investors in the Education Industrial Complex. A public school that spends education money honestly and openly to meet the needs of all children. Vouchers, charters, and expensive high stakes testing materials and programs drain money away from the children they are supposed to serve.
How “cost effective” is healthcare? This is the wrong question.
This question has been foisted upon us as sane. Of course we should pay no more than decent healthcare costs. If private corporate profits are part of assuring what “cost effective” means in America, the subject is changed and reframed to become profitability for multinational corporations, their fund managers and investors. But if “cost effective” corporate profit becomes the topic rather than healthcare, insanity reigns.
The most “cost effective” healthcare for assuring private healthcare industry profits is to have all disabled, ill and “defective” people die. Yes, a hole in an infant’s heart is a defect. There is no deserving or undeserving about it. President Trump and all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives know this. They also know that this makes most profits for the insurance, pharmaceutical, and American healthcare corporations – who are their personal big political donors.
Of course, then it is not healthcare. Healthcare that is not affordable or accessible for the child with a hole in her heart is not healthcare. All children and adults with pre-existing conditions, disabilities, long term or chronic illnesses need healthcare. Millions of middle class and poor Americans of all ages are in one way or another “the little girl with a hole in her heart.”
How complicated is it? All advanced countries have it – except the USA. Medicare is already in place. Medicare for all is the obvious solution if we ignore all the corruption-as-government obfuscations, propaganda and lies.
Does all of this seem too bleak? There is no Disney version of these realities. We must rally, resist and insist on humane improvements. Locally and nationally.
Education issues are healthcare issues. We cannot teach dead children.