Monday, November 16, 2009

Why We Must Fix Healthcare

I just read a first hand account of a recent free clinic, not in some third world country, but in New Orleans, LA. Those who took advantage of this opportunity were not vagrants or welfare leaches. The majority of them were actually employed. Though not in a job that provided full benefits.

I ask you to read this for a perspective on health reform:  Health Reform's Human Stories


  1. This is heartbreaking. Having gone through my own cancer diagnosis, I can't help but think of the woman who left without treatment. Chances are she also won't have access to a therapist to help her deal with her painful demise. Nor will she know about support groups that might make her last days better.
    No, she will just go off to die, working as long as she is able.
    It was stressful enough to go through this process and seeing the bills flood in. Knowing that I had an out of pocket limit kept me from going into money worries too.
    My mother is in ICU as I write this. She's been in the hospital for over five weeks right now. I hope she makes it home for Christmas. Hearing her talk about being worried about the bills shook me. My parents have insurance. And are elderly. They need to think about healing not billing.
    But thank god they have insurance.
    I wonder what that woman with stage four breast cancer thinks about the fear of death panels.

  2. As a single mom with 3 children to support, I live with the worry of getting sick always hovering in the background. While my children are covered by health care, I am not. I also have many friends with chronic illnesses they can't afford. We aren't, as some want to believe, slackers sucking from the government teat. We all work. Damn hard, every day for long hours to provide for our families. We work through grinding pain, fragile immune systems where the wrong cooking oil for your french fries can KILL you, rotting teeth, work wounds bound with duck tape and neo-sporin because we can't afford stitches or an er visit. We swap medications knowing the penalties for doing so, but when it's the difference between continuing to be able to work to support your family and working to only afford your medications, you say a prayer and walk around feeling like a criminal.

    I have family members who snort and wail about "their tax dollars supporting a goverment health care reform so that the unworthy lazy welfare leaches" can continue their worthless lifestyles. I often look at them and think that, but for fate that can change in a heart beat, they have no idea what they're talking about. And I hope and pray that they never do.

  3. Erik, your comment on NPR Politics caught my eye: "I so despise the way the GOP has dug in it's heels." I don't disagree with you about the need for healthcare, or health insurance reform. But in fairness, I believe you are falling for the false dichotomy presented by the politicians. This would seem to be at odds with your self-proclaimed moderate philosophy, and your Sanity mantra.

    Why does every bill passed require 1000 pages (or two?)? And how do you explain that none of the "reform" measures includes un-doing the biggest aspect of the problem, i.e., the government mandates and prohibition of purchase across state lines? I was stunned when the President mentioned auto insurance in his joint session address (in support of a mandate, which doesn't follow, but ignoring the obvious relevance to state regulation)! Simply removing these barriers would eliminate the monopoly he cited and increase "choice and competition." It works fine for auto insurance, doesn't it? And why doesn't the discussion include the possibility of government-run catastrophe coverage, like the CHIP programs? I'm sorry, Erik, but I think you're asleep at the switch on this one. There are many, many reform measures that could greatly improve access to medical care and reduce cost. Virtually NONE are being considered!
    I'm no Republican, but imagine yourself being frozen out of the process 100%, a process being pursued behind LOCKED doors (apparently they were afraid of invasion!). What is left but to say "NO"? I hope they say it loud, and succeed in stopping this abomination. The reform can be pursued in rational pieces. Poor, disenfranchised, uninsured can be covered at one tenth the cost, BY GOVERNMENT. You have to admit that there is something going on here that has nothing whatever to do with "healthcare" or medical care, don't you?


Please let me know what you think, even if it's to disagree.