Health Care: Courage, Leadership and Trust

I spent the early a.m. chasing the belt on the treadmill. I could have run outside — but my left foot is sore from the pounding on the concrete over the weekend. And I’m convinced now that this nagging injury isn’t going to get much better and there isn’t any point in going back to see my doctor or physical therapist. Hey, maybe that’s one of the reasons I think so much about health care these days.

And that was a sneaky — although probably not very good — transition to what I was thinking about while modestly elevating my heart rate this morning. After months and months and months and months of talk about health care reform, I was struck by something that was said during President Obama’s visit to Strongsville (near Cleveland) yesterday.

Here’s from The Plain Dealer story by Mark Naymik:

“I believe Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote,” he (President Obama) told an audience at the city’s Walter F. Ehrnfelt Recreation and Senior Center.

Obama said “there is a lot of hand-wringing going on” over the implications of voting for the legislation, when he was interrupted by a woman in the crowd who shouted, “We need courage.”

“We need courage.”

There is plenty of room in this health care reform debate — as with any number of other issues — for honest disagreements on policy and principle. But at some point we need our elected officials to demonstrate some personal courage. That time on health care — ready or not — may be coming this week.

We also need leadership — and the ability to trust elected officials to make decisions that extend beyond their own self-interest.

Courage, leadership and trust.

Those qualities have been absent during much of the debate on what is a significant public issue that will touch all of our lives.

Too bad it took a shout-out in Strongsville yesterday to get us back to considering the importance of courage — and leadership and trust.

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