Now Let’s Think About Rebuilding

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To the Villager:

It is time to consider the fourth R of emergency response. There is Readiness, Response, Recovery and Rebuilding. This global pandemic has shown vulnerabilities in our current social and economic systems. It will be difficult to get the economy back to where it was for some time. The disruption to relationships and networks that evolved over decades will not be easily revived.

As we begin to rebuild, we should do it intentionally about what could be done better. Here are two areas to consider:

Universal Health Care: This concept evolved from price controls during World War II. It no longer makes sense. With more and more workers self-employed or not staying with one employer for life, we need a health care system that is open to all. The Public Option proposed in the initial Affordable Care Act was a reasonable first step. Medicare for All is worth consideration. Now with so many more people unemployed and thus about to lose their employee-based health care, we need to move forward and not be trapped by an antiquated system that is not good for employers (who struggle to manage benefits) or employees (who feel trapped by their employer plans).

National Public Health System: Our public health system has many great people including Dr. Fauci. But the local approach to public health does not make sense in a nation that is so integrated. In our area, we have two separate public health organizations with oversight of Region 15 students. Those students come from homes who are receiving different public health messages. Consistent communication is key to responding to a public health crisis. We need a strong national public health organization. To keep it from being politicized, maybe it should be independent like the Federal Reserve.

It’s time to think about rebuilding a better UNITED States.

Ed Edelson

609B Heritage Village