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"Honey, sit down. I have something to tell you."

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Just before the old man turned out the light he stopped and looked around.  The shop had been his refuge, his place for quiet time and mediation as he worked with the clay.  His eyes drifted over items still left undone and he wondered if there would be time to finish them before".

He caught himself.  By sheer willpower he forced his mind to think on other things as he flicked the light out.  Walking slowly across the gravel drive to the house, he noticed his hips and lower back were hurting more and more each day.  What had been a good life slowly turned to a nightmare when he checked online and found that his symptoms indicated he had prostate cancer.

Without insurance he had no choice but to suffer in silence as long as he could.  He wasn't in a situation where he couldn't afford the health insurance, he could afford it easily.  But to have health insurance would've required a greater cost than just the premium.

He could afford health coverage or his farm; he couldn't afford both.  He thought if he could just make it to 65 he'd be fine.  At 65 he fully expected Medicare to kick in and help.  Unfortunately, by the time he turned 65 and was able to seek out medical care, the prostate cancer had advanced to Level 4 -- his checkup had just come too late.

As he walked across the yard, he pulled his jack closer to ward off the chill in the Idaho night; or was the cancer sapping the last of his vitality; or was it the fact that he knew he couldn't hide this from his wife any longer and he had decided that tonight he was going to tell her.

Opening up the kitchen door he saw his wife at the stove fixing dinner.  Pushing the door quietly closed behind him he told her, "Honey, sit down. I have something to tell you."

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The story you have just read is true.  The family's name is left out to protect their privacy.  It's also left out because similar scenarios happen across the country every day; and not just a few people are affected, but hundreds"maybe thousands.

While our government continues to spend the country into debt that will not be paid off in our lifetimes, hundreds of thousands of citizens are left each day to make choices that are literally life and death.

According to an article in the February 5, 2010 issue of The Washington Post, approximately 54 million people will be without health coverage by the year 2019. 

"In 2006, then Congressman C.L. "Butch" Otter said during his campaign for Governor that he does not believe it is the government's job to provide health care coverage""

"Butch" hasn't changed his mind.  

 

http://www.journeyamerica.org

Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publicaitons and news outlets including USAToday, CNN, Upsurge, CBS, Dream Row, Earthwalkers and others. He photographs and licenses images for all manner of commercial and editorial use as well as (more...)
 

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"He could afford health coverage or his farm; he ... by Rixar13 on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 12:18:16 PM
"He could afford health coverage or his farm; he c... by Rixar13 on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 12:18:27 PM