We must fix our priorities as a nation

Young Arab Americans lined up at the Islamic Center in Dearborn to bid farewell to their friend Mohamad Osman, who passed away at 18, after a hard fought battle with cancer, on Wednesday, Dec.12.

Let us talk about the future, our priorities and what we are facing in this country today.

Mohamad Osman passed away and left us with a monumental task to complete. His passing wasn’t an accident, it was of illness that could have been healed, if we had invested soundly in the American people and not in smart bombs, expensive military killing machines and nuclear arsenals.

This country is supposedly the greatest on the face of this Earth, and it is great for good reasons, first and foremost the ingenuity of the American people. People like Mohamad Osman, who was laid to rest at an early age because we failed him and thousands like him who suffer from illnesses that could be avoided.

America’s budget for research and development to fight diseases is diminishing while budgets to create killing machines are surging.

Arab Americans gathered in hundreds at the Mohamad Osman funeral on Wednesday, December 12.

Arab Americans gathered in the hundreds at the funeral of Mohamad Osman on Wednesday, December 12.

Health insurance is becoming a luxury and unaffordable by up to 40 million Americans. The cost of medical care and prescriptions are skyrocketing, while health care delivery is declining to a record low.

There is no good reason for Mohamad to die at 18, but tell that to the lobbyists and the best politicians that money can buy in Lansing and Washington.

Americans are being treated in hospitals with dirty, contaminated instruments in their operating rooms. Hospitals operate for obscene profit rather than delivering quality health care to their patients.

Medicine is no longer affordable because greedy pharmaceutical companies through their powerful lobby have muzzled our elected officials; and instead of delivering medicine that works, they are giving American patients generic medicine that is ineffective and unaffordable.

We are being fed with crops and meat packed full of pesticides, GMOs, hormones and antibiotics. The food we are eating is unhealthy and the companies providing it are interested in profitability over nutrition and health.

As Mohamad lay in his hospital bed, politicians in Lansing debated whether or not to allow disposal of radioactive waste in Wayne County at ten times the current state limit.

Profit trumps humanity yet again We are in trouble, ladies and gentlemen.

Life expectancy around the world is increasing, yet here in America it just went down for the third year in a row. You would think that the opposite would happen in the technological age we currently inhabit.

Meanwhile, hospitals continue to price gouge their patients.

Mohamad was charged more than $100,000 for a single day’s stay. Who is paying for all of this? You and me. Our healthcare coverage rates have hit record highs while quality continues to drop.

We are in trouble. Yes, we are.

A recent study shows that one in 40 children in America has a form of autism. An epidemic on the rise and there is no plan to curb it in the greatest country on the face of the Earth.

We are in trouble! Yes, we are.

Mohamad didn’t die in a car accident, he wasn’t overdosed. He didn’t kill himself. He died of illness that could be cured if we invest in people and not in bombs.

Many young teens like Mohamad are filling beds at hospitals across the country, with no cure in sight, desperately fighting diseases that man made, diseases that could be undone by man as well.

We are in trouble. So what should we do?

First, let’s get informed and act accordingly. Let’s hold our elected officials responsible for the deteriorating state of our healthcare. Let’s hold our officials responsible for curbing pollution in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.

We owe it to ourselves and to the future generations.

It’s our responsibility to elect politicians who put people over profit.

We owe it to Mohamad and to the many like Mohamad who are waiting desperately for a cure to their illnesses. We owe to future generations who deserve clean food, drinking water, rivers and skies.

And we owe it to ourselves, because we can no longer afford to sink countless billions into the war machine while people everywhere continue to suffer.

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