Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shut the Government Down? They Don't Know Beans (Another Recipe)

They’ve done it - descended to such a low level of selfishness that they have shut the government down rather than allow the Affordable Health Care Act ( aka Obamacare) to proceed. The Tea Party representatives are telling us that this is a dangerous law. Regardless of what they think of the law, it’s been the law since 2009 and was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2012.

During several of our travels, we have met Canadians and talked with them about their health care system. Canadians from British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario have told us that they are very satisfied with their health care, thank you very much. While the specter of Canadian health care and health care rationing was dangled before us Americans, these Canadians assured us that they received all the care they needed. Mary and Edgar (not their real names) were both over 80 years old and had just had hip and knee replacement surgeries respectively. When I asked Mary if they had any trouble getting the surgery, she said, “No, we just showed them our cards and walked right into the hospital.”

My husband and I lived in Israel in the early 1970’s. Forty years ago, Israel was still a new country striving to establish itself. Nevertheless, they managed to have a national health care system that provided basic care to all of its citizens. Those who were more affluent could purchase private insurance if they wanted to do so. Everyone else was able to access the basics. Sometimes it involved waiting to see a specialist but that’s certainly preferable to having a large portion of the population uninsured.

It’s impossible for me to understand why some people are so adamant insisting that the government not provide basic food and health care to their neighbors in need. If a selfish refusal to pay higher taxes isn’t the motive, I’d like to know what it is. A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times reported that the upper 1% of our population has the largest percentage of wealth – 23% - since the 1920’s. It certainly sounds like selfishness to me.

In the meantime, many of our neighbors have become food insecure and unable to access health care. Many don’t have a bean. Since beans are an inexpensive form of protein, I’ll provide my recipe for 5-Minute Bean Salad. It takes about five minutes to make and serves four to eight people depending on whether it’s a main dish or a side salad.

                                                              Five-Minute Bean Salad

One 14.5 oz can of black beans drained
One 14.5 oz can of garbanzo beans drained
2 tomatoes chopped
½ green pepper chopped
green olives
cilantro leaves
feta cheese (optional)

olive oil, lemon juice, oregano for the dressing

Put the first seven ingredients in a bowl and mix them up.

Sprinkle the dressing ingredients over the top.
Refrigerate until cold.


It’s good with pita and hummus.




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