Even though I rarely listen to the radio anymore and no longer have TV, we tuned into President Obama's health care speech this evening, and I felt stirrings of hope as his words flowed through the airwaves.
Not having examined the speech closely, my hope is tinged with a hint of cynicism at the ways of Washington, but with the post-humous words of Ted Kennedy spurring us on, I feel that perhaps the reform we have all been waiting for may actually come to pass.
Even as the debate rages on, millions of American children still live without health insurance, the unemployed and underemployed seek primary care in emergency rooms, and the self-employed struggle to find coverage that doesn't break the bank.
Cries of socialism abound, but the President reminds us that Medicare itself was derided as being tantamount to socialism back in the day, and that "sacred trust" is now a promise that no American would ever wish to see broken.
I hold out hope that we will see comprehensive health care reform in this decade, and that my grandchildren will grow up in a country where they will never need to choose between medicine and groceries.
Health care reform? Socialism? If every American can obtain affordable coverage and no one has to go without, then I don't care what we call it. Can Obama do it? Only time will tell.