Health Care Reform: a Splendid Polarization?

05/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Who is right? Are we usurping the precious freedoms this country was built upon, or offering life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Is health care a right or a privilege? While politicians continue to sharpen their rhetorical swords for this debate some are hitting below the belt, resorting to racial insults, sexual orientation slurs and name calling. All in the name of so called democracy.

Last night's passage of the reform bill by the House of Representatives demonstrates elections do matter and our democracy is working. It seems our country is becoming further polarized as a country of haves versus the have nots.

I suspect most of the people demonstrating against health care reform currently have health care insurance. They don't want to pay higher taxes for those who don't have health care insurance. They may be some of the same people who protested against Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security too. Perhaps even some of the same people who previously protested against women's rights, African American's rights, immigration, gay and lesbian rights and giving rights to any group different from themselves.

There is just one problem for this group. They are now in the minority in this country. We need a new era of tolerance. We need to work to understand our differences.

This country was founded as a melting pot. As of late, the pot has been boiling too long. Our country's actions have not been perfect since our founding. Yet, the trajectory has been impressive. We have a laudable history of doing the right thing eventually. This includes taking care of those who are less fortunate in this country.

There is still a great deal to work through to create meaningful health care reform. At last, the process has begun. Progress will occur. We will be a better country for it.