The presidential election gets a lot of attention in Swedish media these days. During the last weeks we have been able to read about tactics, debates, speeches, blunders and everything else that is related to an election. Apart from being deputy mayor of Gothenburg and vice party chairman of the Swedish Christian Democratic Party, I also spend a lot of the little spare time that I have on politics worldwide, and therefore I cannot refrain from writing about what outcome I wish to see.
There are many reasons why President Barack Obama should be re-elected and continue the path that he has begun. To me, maybe the most important reason is the reform of the health care system. Many Swedes are familiar with the basics of the American health care system and the debate over it. The political process and the decision in the Supreme Court were widely covered in Swedish media.
I believe that if you have a system where the insurance companies pay for health care, they can’t have the possibility to deny people insurance. It goes without saying that the previous system affected those who already had the least. Those who were ill and therefore not profitable for an insurance company. A couple of weeks ago an American friend of mine visited Sweden. She is young, ambitious and since a few months also a mother. She is partly paralyzed and bound to her wheelchair. As a disabled person she might raise the costs of an insurance company, but that we will never know for sure. Either way, before, it was impossible to get insurance on the same conditions as everyone else. Her situation is not unique; she shares her experiences with millions of Americans. The laws President Obama introduced now stop insurance companies from denying her, because of pre-existing conditions.
I was born with a very rare disability that paralyzed my arms and cut the muscle power in my legs to about 30 percent. I had all odds against me and doctors told my parents that I would never be able to sit on my own. They were wrong. Thanks to my parents and to Swedish health care I could sit when I was two years. I didn’t only learn how to swim, I went to World Championships, to the Paralympics in Atlanta and Sydney and I beat a total of 14 world records. I have also won international leadership prizes and started several companies, all while engaging in the Swedish Sports Federation, UNICEF, politics and more. My mother hadn’t even finished school when I was born, and my father was a refugee from communist Poland. Would they have been able to give me the right support without affordable health care and knowledge? It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s an economic investment. Today, I contribute to the Swedish society.
The policies of President Obama are characterized by a passion for social justice. To tear up the health care reform, which Governor Romney wants, would be a great setback for large groups of Americans, but it would also mean that the US will take a different road. I believe that we need more similarities between our societies. In the future, Western societies must cooperate more, and I wish that our cooperation will be about more than military defense. Our common values, that all people are created equal and that we all have unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, obligate our societies to take a social responsibility. President Obama is the candidate who is willing to take this moral responsibility and I hope he gets another four years to further develop America.