(Sorry, gents - the answer's unfortunately not, as a general rule, "my hairline.")
It's the income gap in America - the difference in the percentage of the nation's wealth held by the richest 1% of the population and that held by everyone else. Without getting into too many details, the more-than-somewhat-alarming fact of life in the USA these days is that if you're at the very top, you're sitting prettier than ever, and if you're not up there, things are looking grimmer.
PBS had a great segment on this yesterday, which got us thinking.
It got us thinking about what kind of America we Americans are making with the public policies we're enacting into law.
Because regardless of what's to blame for the widening gyre that's blasting through the middle class, it seems that at least part of the answer to social inequality has to be wise federal legislation designed to bring us all together on common ground.
Case in point: Federal Healthcare Reform. Which, incidentally, just passed its anniversary.
Congressman George Miller was in Concord this week to celebrate what the law's already provided to the sick and otherwise hard-to-insure. He introduced Dr. Walker of CCHS (to whom he referred as his mentor on health policy) and a panel of regular people - from all walks of life - who're now able to access medical care that just months ago would have been totally out of reach.
And then Mr. Miller said something so spot-on we wrote it down verbatim:
“On the horizon, there’s an insane idea that they can repeal this and replace it with a voucher. A voucher is the most expensive way to do healthcare… I don’t think that’s America. I don’t think it’s our future… As people find out more and more about this plan, I hope they will understand this is a generally great American idea.”
Right and right. Half of Congress is up in arms about how un-American it is to spend tax dollars on greater healthcare access for everyone. But America is what we make it through conscious policy choices. And the America that we here at the Consortium want to see isn't one where 1% of Americans have dream lives and the other 99% just scrapes by.
One hundred percent of us deserve some basic things equally. Including health care.
In a society wedged further and further apart, Healthcare Reform honors the American ideal that we all have the right to a fair start.
So, Mr. Miller, count community clinics in for the fight to keep Reform on the books. And thank you, as always, for your leadership!