Letter from the Editor: Healthy healthcare conversation

Love it, hate it, or misunderstand it, healthcare reform is a massive and important step in our society.

But I believe that equally important as the reform to an industry with such flaws is the education one seeks regarding said industry.

Note the careful positioning of the word “seeks,” meaning one must get off his or her tuckus and look up information, unless abridged, watered-down, cliff noted, generalized versions are the more preferred style. (It shouldn’t be.)

Like research for a term paper or good natured Facebook creeping, multiple sources are necessary. Places like CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NPR and even newspapers can be a great help in educating and learning about this complex issue. But the most difficult part is assembling a variety of information and then absorbing that information and retaining it.

Already know how you feel about healthcare reform? Then tell someone why you feel that way, preferably someone who is willing to listen. But, be able to do it calmly and logically and without pinning it on the president or the speaker of the house personally. If they aren’t someone you know personally, attacking them doesn’t add credibility, but eliminates it. You may not like what they stand for, but politicians have tried to do similar things in the past and you don’t seem to mind them as much. Yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Roosevelt.

Perhaps most important is the constant need to ask yourself “why?” It’s not just about learning, but questioning what you’re learning. There may not always be an answer, but if there is a question and a conversation seeking that answer, it’s still okay. When the conversation is done, it’s done.

The goal isn’t always to convince the world that you are correct, or even correct to one person. Just knowing your own views, sharing and receiving those of others is the best way to approach a healthy dialogue on healthcare. n