More than their political ambitions bind together defeated Republican
presidential hopeful John McCain, GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney and Reform
Party candidate Pat Buchanan.
Each man has undergone expensive medical treatmentMcCain, surgery
over the weekend for removal of melanomas; Cheney, heart bypasses after three heart
attacks several years ago; and Buchanan, removal of his gall bladder on Friday.
But they're bound together by another attributeeach is a man of
privilege and considerable personal financial security.
So, costs were literally of no concern when they entered fine hospitals
and rounded up surgical teams for treatment.
This isn't the case, however, with millions of American families who
either lack personal financial resources for their medical care, or lack adequate health
How timely that leading figures in the presidential races, debates over
public health care and the plight of so many Americans converge at the same time.
If Messrs. McCain, Cheney and Buchanan were to pause and consider their
own comfortable circumstances, and compare that with others in need, they could transform
the quibbling over national health programs into a unified attack on needs of American
How a nation treats its citizens' health speaks volumes about its
generosity and caring instincts. The irony is that while Democrats and Republicans remain
apart on health programs, they seem positively effusive in promises to not leave behind or
leave out any child in education.
But what good is an improved school system if some children are too ill to
attend and learn?