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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still dying, still arguing

People are still dying.

Since America has this system whereby profit is the engine for curing disease, many will go bankrupt or simply die.

On the Huffington Post today there is a story of a little blond 5 year-old girl with leukemia, living in Montana. The father is a disabled vet and the mother works as a house cleaner. Once diagnosed, the first bill was larger than what the family makes in one year.

Another family, the Petriekis' family from Indiana, lucked out when Medicaid of Indiana refused treatment because of a bureaucratic snafu (the treatment was labeled "experimental" despite a 73% success rate) but the insurance handling Medicaid claims for that state finally stepped in. A catastrophe narrowly avoided. (One has to wonder if the insurance would have acted if the situation hadn't become widely known.)

The cases go on and on...it is not hard to find them.

Reading the comments on the Huffington Post is instructive, too. People from the U.S. are embarrassed by our country's lack of affordable care. People internationally are simply shocked at how horrific things are here.

Here, from a commenter on the Huffington Post:

If this child and her family were living in Germany where I live, or any other western European country they would not have to worry about paying for the little girl's treatment.

In these countries there is still a great sense of solidarity on which health, old age, unemployme­nt insurance and social security are based. Those who earn more contribute more to the system. Everyone has access to the same coverage.

As the cost of medical care increases (thanks, big pharma) and more people are enemployed and contribute less to the system (they still get the benefits), there are financial strains. The bottom line is that the system continues to work very well.

My friends and familiy here are simply flabbergas­ted that so many Americans who themselves are only one illness away from financial catastroph­e are againt universal heath insurance and brand it "socialism­" and "communism­".

Remember, Sarah Palin and Joe Miller admited (sic) to slipping across the border to Canada for medical treatment. Talk about hypocrits!

While money is important, finding a stem cell donor is even more important for this child. Everyone can be typed and become a potential donor for her or for other leukemia patients. Ask your doctor (If you have one) or enquire at a hospital about getting typed.

I am a donor. My stem cells went to a leukemia patient in California­.

It is a scandal that Americans have to die because they cannot afford healthcare­.


And still we have perhaps a majority of Americans who still label ObamaCara a government takeover, or socialism. I personally wish that it was. In truth, what we were given is the biggest gift to for-profit companies in the history of our country. Despite the speeches to the contrary, Republicans will never vote ObamaCare out, simply because the insurance companies fund their campaigns, and the insurance companies love ObamaCare.

I just wish the people of America felt as Ghandi felt, that "a nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."