When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and forced the U.S. into WWII, patriotism, as well as shock, ricocheted through the country. Men enlisted in the armed services by the thousands, women served in support positions and became Women Air Force Service Pilots, (WASPs); housewives traded their aprons for welding masks and built ships and planes. Patriotism swept the nation and united Americans in a common goal—win the war no matter what it took; nothing else mattered. The people accepted rationing, bought war bonds, and rose up as one to save our country and it would turn out, the free world, from the evils of Hitler’s fascism. People had access to affordable healthcare.
America was attacked once again on September 11, 2001, and once again, we rallied to defend our country from Islamic extremism. Men and women joined the Armed Services, ready to die for our freedom. The nation has witnessed the flag-covered caskets as well as the return of grievously wounded veterans—missing arms and legs, horribly burned, blinded, and millions still suffering from PTSD. Nearly twenty years later the battle rages on around the world and our troops are front and center.
When viewed against this survival level historical backdrop, investing in the health, financial stability, and readiness of the American people is not only common sense, our national security demands it. If, once again, and history does have an annoying tendency to repeat itself, we are drawn into another devastating war or pandemic, we need a healthy vibrant population to support the fight at home and win wherever the battle to defend our freedom takes us.
With foreign government hackers working to destabilize our society and our elections, North Korean saber-rattling increasing, a divisive, erratic President at the helm and the plague of Islamic extremism spreading like a virus, this is not the time to weaken our country by denying access to affordable healthcare. As medical bankruptcy, preventable illness, disability, and death rise, our nation weakens. Healthcare is necessary to thrive as well as survive–for individuals, society, the next generations and our Constitutional Democracy.