Tell Speaker Boehner Who He Should be Crying For
Below, share your personal struggle with the healthcare system (anonymously if you prefer) or share other reasons for concern (like how millions will fall into poverty if Congress cuts Medicare) with Speaker Boehner.
I shared my story, or is it Barbara’s?
This is the story of my beloved fiancée, who at the age of 46 was struck by an ultimately fatal health crisis. This crisis was over two years ago now, and she has since passed away. Had it not been for the loving generosity of some very wonderful friends, though, she would have spent the first month of her hospitalization in a charity hospital receiving only minimal care. Let’s face it folks, in the good old U. S. of A., you get the best health care you can afford. I had been “affording” an excellent private health care package for her since she was forced to quit working due to longer term health issues.
She was repeatedly denied coverage by traditional insurance companies, and was covered under what is termed the state “high risk pool”. You don’t want to know how much that coverage cost every month she fought for her life. During that first traumatic month, I was almost forced to choose between working to pay for that insurance, or being at her side where I was needed so that I could make health care decisions for her, literally at a moment’s notice. The aforementioned friends covered that insurance payment for her so that I could be there for her.
Now to my point: Joe Klein almost went there in a 2008 Time blog post:
Oh, and by the way, if government activism is now back on the table, we can begin to talk about the real answers to our entitlement problems: Medicare and medicaid can only be solved when they’re included in a comprehensive, regulated and managed universal health insurance system.
I only have one problem with that quote. Even he still feels the need to use the word “insurance” when describing the solution. I am in complete agreement with the rest of his statement. But health insurance? Truthfully, the solution is not any kind of insurance. Do you buy insurance to pay the fireman who comes to save your life in the inferno that was once your home? Do you buy insurance to pay the police officer who responds to the armed robbery in progress in your small business? No, you don’t, because those are seen, rightfully so, as basic services provided by government in order to “promote the general welfare” of the people. Why then must we continue to talk of “insurance” for one of the most basic of “general welfare” needs of our people?
It’s simple really. This need is being driven by the profit motive, rather than the altruism of the first fire departments, or the “protect and serve” motive of our police departments. Why is that? How did it come to be that altruism is not the driving factor of the practice of medicine? I don’t really know, and in all honesty, it’s not why I come before you today. Rather, I come to you simply with the proposition that health care IS properly a basic need that is at least as important as fire and police protection. In both those instances, you do buy recovery insurance, and perhaps there is a place in my grand scheme for health recovery insurance. I contend though that the quality of treatment of a life threatening condition should not be determined by what you can afford to pay. The time you spend waiting for diagnosis should not be determined by the inverse of your bank balance. No family should ever be forced to choose between being at the side of a gravely ill loved one and being able to pay for the best possible care.
So long as the word “insurance” is part of the national health care discourse, so long as the profit motive is more important than the Hippocratic Oath, we will never get to where we as a nation must ultimately go. Health care reform begins with removing that word from the conversation. How do we do that? By enacting HR 676 as soon as possible.
Repeal the PPACA? How about we expand it instead, and implement real single payer health care for all Americans?