I look out the window to the darkest of skies. The thunderstorm is coming soon. But it’s not the rain, lightening or thunder that worry. Even the potential hint of a tornado isn’t of concern. It’s what’s in front of the storm. The bleakness shone through the blackened windows. The gray lifeless walls held memories of a life once lived. It was one of many little hovels grouped together in an attempt to create a complex of exist. Life tried to poke its way through as kids ran down the carless street, unaware of the vast poverty and dismay of the area. Dreams that might have once lived have faded and been burned away like the charred wall paper that juts out of one exposed wall. The only two kids on the street. For them, it is their playground: an old rusted can becomes a ball, a rebar becomes a bat and an old klunker home base.
Rounding first (a broken Coke bottle), I see him race for second base while his opponent chases after the can. I return back to my USA Today. I see an ad extol about the “horrors” of socialism, the threat of “socialized” health care and how a private health care system is the only valid one for the US. The US’s poverty rate is around 12% (higher than the 10% claimed by the ad), Canada around 6% and Cuba is an unknown although I’d peg it around 90%. What’s interesting is that the HDI (Human Development Index — the index that indicates things like life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living) lists Cuba at 48 on the HIGH category (Canada is 3 while the US is 15).
Right now the US is debating (yet again) what to do about health care. on one side, people believe that pay-per keeps costs down and wiser use of health care. On the other is universal health care where it’s available for all, regardless of whether someone is employed or not. Anyone gets health care coverage and it should limit the possibility of going into debt over health care. But there is one thing that isn’t being considered and is really needed. The reality is that health care is about people. One of the challenges in the US is that it overemphasizes monetary profit, whether for hospitals, staff, benefits programs, etc. It’s not to say that profit isn’t a consideration in places like Canada (Canadian doctors can make the same or slightly below what is made in the US) but there are less extras to address (like malpractice insurance, etc.). I don’t know if the US will ever be able to have a health care that will be effect at helping it’s populace, particularly those in most need, be able to get help — both reactive and proactive/preventative.
The Acela train I’m on continues its fast race to New York. The bleak looking ghetto is on the outskirts of Philadelphia. It reminded me of Mexico City except there it was colourful. Here, its grey, burned and discarded from the rest of society. It is often how the wealthier parts of the country view those without: they are drab, lifeless “things” to discard. Giving those without hope a chance for it can help reduce poverty and give dreams to those who need it.