Remarks originally delivered at the Medicare for All Rally held in Durham on Saturday, January 13.
We are the fortunate ones. We are here. We are able to be here. It is safe for us to be here. Many people are not here because they are not well, they are not safe, and they are not able to join us. They may have unmet healthcare needs that keep them homebound; they may fear for their personal safety. For those whose voices cannot be heard today for reasons not of their own making, we lend our voices to them. We speak out loud what everyone needs to hear about Medicare for all. For more than four decades, the North Carolina Council of Churches has been advocating for universal healthcare; quality long-term care for the elderly; and sustained funding for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.
A rising tide lifts all the boats, even the boats that are already floating well above the swelling waves. That is a message that needs to be heard by those comfortably enrolled in private health insurance plans or with the financial resources to buy whatever medical care they want. Even their boats will sail higher if all of us who are floundering in the shallows have the resources to be well.
The faith tradition I represent follows the original universal healthcare provider. Time and time again the sick came to him or were brought to him and “he cured them.” He didn’t ask about their preexisting conditions, their out-of-network premium, their PPO or HMO, or life-time deductible. Those are just gimmicks that keep us from being well.
We have a raft of people, a life-raft if you will, who can teach us about the importance of Universal Healthcare, Healthcare for All, Medicare for All. All the titles point to the same reality–we can be well. We can all be well.