Alaska’s healthcare system is amazing. I can vouch for almost ‘magical’ healthcare innovations which likely expanded my life. Most recently, I found myself at the door of the “Alaska Heart and Vascular Institute” asking for help. I cannot over-state the 5-star review. Nobody could make surgery fun, but within one editorial cycle I am on my feet with good reason to believe I will be catching salmon when they get here in July — far better than anticipated! This was not my first rodeo with a critical, expensive, health crisis. Twenty plus years ago, I learned first-hand about Alaska’s oncology care when they applied the then-latest cures to change a traditionally incurable, 5-year prognosis into an unexpected remission. I give a shout-out to the army of health care providers who give of themselves to serve other people, to alleviate pain and suffering. Thank you!
I wish I felt as optimistic about the health of Alaska’s healthcare system as I do my own health, I admit I do not! I happen to have a long history of being deeply engaged in Alaska healthcare politics, serving numerous years in Legislative Health Committees and the Alaska Health Commission. I’ve had the privilege of working with “giants” of virtue and intellect and watched their recommendations ignored and over-ruled. I have seen the gross underbelly of human nature (greed and self-interest) evident within our healthcare system, just as it is evident in every human institution in a republic! It may not be worse (or better) than other human institutions, but the solution/prevention is always the same — grass roots sincerity.
Clearly, our society is a much nicer place to be when people choose to serve others. Our “happiness” depends a lot on the efforts of health care providers, policeman, preachers, teachers, soldiers, Dads, Moms, and every individual who has decided to make the world a better place by devoting to these and other occupations/roles. Government is intentionally sidelined here! Choosing to serve others, to love sacrificially, to forgive, or extend mercy are all religiousdecisions, which our government was forever banned from — authoritative establishment of religion, in other words, government enslavement! Our founders were phenomenal! They did a very good job of putting us all “at the mercy” of what they called “Divine Providence”. We now go to extremes to ensure each person’s religious freedom. In the big picture, I am convinced the People in America have historically demonstrated selfless compassion and commitment to serve others — the evidence being our world-wide model institutions. The “golden rule” has been venerated in America unlike any other nation. The “golden rule” is arguably globally accepted as the universal apex of human morality.
Review and adjust your world view as you see fit. Our society depends on it. As goes the consensus of “We the People”, so goes the nation and our great institutions. Unexpected sickness can make us tougher— or it can destroy us when we deliberately avoid obvious conclusions. American Constitutionalism bet everything the majority would make the right choices. Neither this editorial nor any public-school teacher or professor, has any right to judge you or coerce you on your religious decisions! My best advice to you: Seek out whoever has demonstrated care for you and listen carefully before you make up your own mind on any sectarian or denominational question.
There is no formula to ensure a ‘godly’ human institution! The best blueprint was laid out in our American Constitution with its complex and inefficient systems of checks and balances. The primary goal of our government was to ensure freedom, life, liberty, and expression of truthful data. Perhaps our modern erosion of checks and balances denies the darker side of human reality and risks far more than we thought! Even this erosion could be insignificant in the face of a truly “righteous” voting majority— “righteous” being what the founders based called “Nature’s Law”. The health care system that has just served me so very well, is admittedly the product of a confusing mixture of capitalism, government, corporate and individual greed, and religious values (love, forgiveness, mercy, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, etc.). These ingredients have been mixed over time.
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.