In this Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, photograph, a sign notifies customers that COVID-19 vaccinations are available at a pharmacy in a grocery store in Monument, Colo. Credit: David Zalubowski / AP

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In 1871 Otto Von Bismarck, the Prussian prime mInister who led successful war efforts against Austria, Denmark, and France, tried a different way. He united 39 different Germanic states into the country we now know as Germany. What did he offer them to unite under one government? Health care. What became known as the Bismarck model unified 39 countries into one, creating a powerful German state. The health care model was so successful it spread across Europe and is still known today as the Bismarck Model.

Had our Pilgrims left England after 1871 they likely would have brought the Bismarck model to our continent. When you think about the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims commitment to look out for each other, that they mutually provided food, shelter, and comfort to each other, we can easily see the Pilgrims would have agreed to the Bismarck model of health care.

Today every parent in America understands how important health care is. As a matter of survival, our nation has made vaccines and boosters available to our population at no cost. After World War II we provided food to starving Germans. Today, we are providing shelter and food to those in Kentucky and Illinois affected by natural disasters. It’s what Americans do. The U.S. is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance worldwide. The primary goal of U.S. humanitarian assistance is to save lives and alleviate suffering by ensuring that vulnerable and crisis-affected individuals receive assistance and protection.

We already do the Bismarck model in times of crises. It’s time to make health care the focal point of the 2022 elections.

Keith Newman