Vail Daily letter: Health care compared to education |

Vail Daily letter: Health care compared to education

Lee Hegner
Vail, CO, Colorado

Nearly a century ago, the several states agreed that education is a right of all Americans.

To that end, Americans undertook to build and support, through tax levies on their most valuable assets, a system of public schools.

Even today, millions of the wealthiest among us, whose children were educated at public expense, continue to pay substantial taxes upon their real estate holdings, never, ever screaming about “socialism” or “the welfare state” or that they are unfairly targeted.

They pay. They’re not happy, but that does not stop their acquisition of second or third homes, the largest tax against which is devoted to public education. Hundreds of thousands even continue to pay, although their children are educated in extraordinarily expensive private schools.

At that, none is carrying a truncheon or torch through the streets, yelling about socialism, the end of democracy, Armageddon, the demise of America, or the welfare state.

Yet, now, when precisely the same idea is presented with regard to universal health care, the wealthiest, and millions educated at state expense, oddly, predominately Republicans, insist that no one should have a similar “right” to health care.

One wonders what now apparently drives the wealthy, often most privileged but still likely beneficiaries of that system, to contend that, while a right to a public education is part of the nation’s character (are we actually socialists, but do not know it?), no right to be well, or well cared for, should be similarly formulated.

Seems we are entitled to a system of publicly provided education, yet whether or not our children, or children’s children, are safely born, receive vaccinations, vitamins, and proper nourishment sufficient to allow them to be reared in healthy homes and benefit from that system simply does not matter.

Lee Hegner


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