I recently watched a documentary on Alcatraz, its origins and early years. I was struck by the comment of one of its former inmates who was being interviewed for the documentary. "There are four basic rights in prison....the right to food, water, shelter, and medical care. Everything else was a privilege" he said.
Now as you read this, I must tell you that I am a conservative. I am not an advocate of massive social programs, and I think people should work and make their way. I do not believe in the "dole" except for that very small number of our population who are mentally or physically unable to care for themselves, HOWEVER....
I don't think anyone would quarrel with the fact that the United States is the last superpower on earth. Certainly not the only power, but the last real superpower. The only power who can, if necessary, stand alone against all others and still likely achieve its goal, whatever that may be.
We boast the strongest, largest and best equipped military on the planet, the highest per capita standard of living for our citizen's, the best opportunities to achieve one's goals, and many other "bests" and "brightests". And the most important, of course, we have the highest and best sense of personal freedoms and our citizens are most protective of those freedoms.
All those things said, this best and brightest country is not without serious internal problems which scream to be addressed. I'm not even going to mention those important issues such as terrorism with its attendant sub-problems, energy production and conservation, and the environment. I'm not even going to talk about animal rights which, for those who know me, realize that what I am going to talk about must be serious indeed for me to leave that out.
In this land of 200,000,000 plus persons, more than 45,000,000 (im no math genius but that inches up on 25%), are uninsured (and does not include any veterans because veterans are eligible for heathcare through the veterans administration). Now that doesn't mean those people are all precluded from getting their basic health care needs met, because a portion of those 45,000,000 persons are eligible for either state aid (medicaid), or federal benefits (medicare), and other assistance programs which means they can seek at least the most basic health care.