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Have you no decency?

Date: 7/17/2012

I'm writing in response to letters posted here recently challenging the right of every one living in this country to full health care. After reading these letters, I immediately thought back to the stirring words of Joseph Welch to Joe McCarthy during the "Army-McCarthy" communist witch hunt hearings held in Congress in the 1950s.

Attorney Welch, exasperated with "Tail Gunner Joe's" attempt to besmirch the character of a young lawyer from Massachusetts said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

We are the wealthiest nation in the world, a country which prides itself on its supposed exceptionalism and its strong ties to Judeo-Christian ethics and beliefs. Yet we are the only highly industrialized country in the world without universal health care. I'm at a loss to reconcile this sad state of affairs with our stated moral beliefs and our purported sense of being a leader among nations.

Are we going to discard our sick fellow citizens who lack the means to pay for health care at the side of the street, the way we leave our trash and recyclables for pick up here in East Longmeadow? Or are we going to aspire to, as Abraham Lincoln put it, "the better angels of our nature," and do whatever it takes to make sure health care is provided for all of our brothers and sisters?

Steve Katz

East Longmeadow