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Cracks and Crevices in Our System: The End Is Near

By Ken Poland
Opinion | July 20, 2012

healthcare-reform.jpgCOLBY, Kan. - How did we get into the mess we are in? What mess? Moral decay, mid-east conflict, national debt, financial collapse, illegal residents, unemployment, racial tensions, and on and on. You add your own concerns to the list. We have passed the point of no return. Really?

When you listen to the conservative news networks, it sounds like it has all fallen apart since Barack Obama became president. When you listen to the liberal news networks, it sounds like the G.W. Bush administration was and is responsible for all of our woes. When you listen to the 'religious right,' it's the infidel liberals, and when you listen to the progressive left, it's the bigoted religious fanatics.

None of those accusations or explanations are realistic. The truth is, all those problems I've listed have been a part of history from the beginning of recorded history. Politics and religion have been at odds with themselves and each other. Nearly every generation thinks the following generation has deteriorated and fallen short from their own. Nearly every branch of our government has blamed the problems we, as a nation, faced on the previous actions or inaction of their predecessors. In so doing, they were trying to evade their short comings and being held responsible for the present state of affairs. Sometimes they are right, usually it's evading responsible action. The truth is: They all have failed to acknowledge the real problem and the workable solution to their problems. Is that not man's nature?

We farmers are well aware of the fact that sometimes it takes years of diligent work to amend a small mistake of the past. We can't repair the damage of erosion that has taken place over the years, or even the storm of the night-before, with a single application of fertilizer and dozing a little dirt.

The wise farmer makes amendments in his plans and actions or takes advantage of new resources to maintain the fertility and production capabilities of his land. It is a never ending and ongoing process. The time has long since passed when we could just move to a new valley and start anew. Continuing to do the same old things seldom work. Changes are always happening. If we refuse to adapt our plans to meet those changes, we will lose and end up in the dust bin of the past.

Wet and dry seasons are a fact of nature. Ups and downs in the economy are a fact of life. Religious fervor and anti-religious fervor vacillates in society, but most of the time the majority of people are not vigorously involved either way. For most of us, these ups and downs and changes aren't of immediate concern, if they aren't abrupt and directly affecting us immediately. We tend to be crisis driven and don't get involved if we aren't in the middle of the crisis.

There are always a few who will sound the alarm and join the hen who rushed around the barnyard squawking that the sky is falling. This, too often, results in a few radicals demanding that a small seepage in the dam requires immediate destruction of the works and advocate attempting to rebuild from the bottom of the water way. Never mind the immediate flooding of the plains below.

Does that sound anything like those opposing the Affordable Care Act? Let the millions who have no insurance remain uninsured. Let those who have met lifetime limits for coverage hang. Let the emergency room continue to be the first and only option for many. Let medical emergencies continue to be the catalyst that forces more personal bankruptcies than anything else.

The opposite of those radicals are those who just simply ignore any signs of normal wear and tear or weaknesses in a structure or system. Let's just take our time and maybe the situation will correct itself. They wait for it to collapse on its own.

Their feet aren't getting wet from the little rivulets and seepage coming through the cracks and crevices in our present health care system. Just ignore the seepage until it becomes a raging torrential gully. Then raise your arms in frustration and blame someone else for not taking steps in time to close the seepage.

They blame the first ones to drown in the torrent, not realizing that they may be next.

Gullies and washouts tend to get wider and longer if not attended to. Eventually your back porch may fall in and then even the back room and eventually the whole house. Dikes, diversion ditches, dams, and maybe even relocation may have been what you needed. But, for heaven's sakes, let's don't worry about health care inequity or availability for everyone else, until I fall over the cliff. But then, the neighbors will say, "No need to worry now, he's dead and gone."

Is that how we should handle our nation's health care problems?

its-a-tragedy.jpg


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