Christmas is coming and wish lists vary. Here are ideas from which most can benefit.
Medical care for all Americans. Congress must sever ties with lobbyists working on behalf of the pharmaceutical and medical insurance companies and represent the American people. Prescription costs are too high and the government pays too much money to the drug companies for those who receive various medicines from government coverage. All Americans should be able to see a doctor and receive medical care. Working Americans should have access to affordable medical care. Retired and poor/disabled/uninsurable Americans should have access to Medicare and Medicaid. All Veterans and military should be able to choose an alternate doctor or hospital when the VA hospital and doctors are not in close proximity or are inaccessible.
My medical insurance company recently informed me that my doctors must always gain their consent when prescribing any kind of medicine. They not only demand final approval on any medications I might need, they frequently dictate that my doctor prescribes a medication that is less expensive. I would like to think that my doctor prescribes medicines based on his opinion that they will work. If I decide to follow my doctor's direction and the medical insurance company doesn't agree then I will be totally out of pocket for my prescription.
My wife and I were in France once and she had to see a doctor. There were doctor offices everywhere in Paris. Seeing a doctor and getting two prescriptions were less than $35. We didn't use an insurance card and a visit to the doctor and going to the pharmacy around the corner both took less than 90 minutes. France does not have socialized medicine. They are involved in controlling the costs of drugs. The life expectancy for those living in France is longer than us living in America. France's medical world is not perfect but we should take notes.
Christmas will be good if Americans can have access to jobs across the country. Big cities are booming with jobs it seems but rural America does not have the same options. I suppose it will always be this way but everyone cannot live in Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas or Nashville, Tennessee. A friend of mine recently moved to Indianapolis and has job opportunities galore. The federal government must spend some of the money we give away to the Middle East on rural America. Roads, bridges, parks and investing in small companies that will locate in rural America must be a government priority. We've spent too many years nation-building throughout the planet and let Appalachia and other rural communities drown.
I don't have enough space so here are musts for Americans this Christmas:Small interest loans so our youth can afford to go to college. Make college as affordable as possible. Turn Social Security around and keep our promised retirements solvent for our graying Americans. Reward the corporations who stay in America and let those who want to be out of America pay the price for abandoning us. Keep America safe with strong borders and a strong military and take care of those who do and have served our country. Insure that sane Americans can have their Colt 45 revolvers by their bedside tables when they turn out the lights and say their prayers.
Finally, may we all be a little more like President George H.W. Bush who wrote newly elected President Bill Clinton a very gracious note welcoming him to the oval office and assuring him of his support saying "...that you will be 'our' President when you read this note." He led by living the example that it doesn't hurt any of us to be respectful, gracious, decent people who help, love and encourage others.
May all Americans have a Merry Christmas.
Glenn Mollette is an American syndicated columnist and author.
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