Health Care Reform: My Number One Issue – The Promised Epilogue

originally posted at Daily Kos Sat Jul 03, 2010

Back in the end of March, I promised to write the epilogue to our story of intimate encounters with the healthcare industry in the United States. If you follow me on twitter, then you already know how the story ended. If not, then read on. 25 days ago, the story came to an end. Barbara passed away after a nearly two year battle. I’ve tried to write this epilogue several times already, and found it too painful. I have realized, though, that stalling will never make it less painful.

The bills continue to roll in on a daily basis. I am the executor of her estate, such as it is, so I get to see every one of those bills. I see the EOB (explanation of benefits) letters from the Texas Health Insurance Pool. There are no liquid assets in her estate. So for now, I file the bills until I can bring myself to send out the death certificates that will likely stop the bills. I still think that I will file medical bankruptcy in the name of her estate.

Unfortunately, if I do so, the first thing that will happen is that the creditors will take the home that she grew up in. It’s the only asset other than a few personal belongings that the estate holds. I don’t want that to happen, so for now, I still am stalling. I need an estate attorney, I guess. Of course, I have no way to pay one.

Single payer didn’t happen for Barbara. I still believe with all my heart what I said back when this started.

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.

I wonder now if I will live to see that day. BTW: My insurance? It’s an HMO. May Richard Nixon and John Ehrlichman pay eternally for foisting those upon us.

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