Like millions of Americans especially the 47 million who have no insurance and those underinsured, I have been paying close attention to the health care debate on various networks. Whom do I see discussing it? The hosts of various news shows, pundits from both sides and politicians also of both sides.
Most likely they all have health insurance and do not even know the terror of those who go without. Are they the best people we as Americans should be listening to? No, we should hear from those who presently have no health insurance. Their stories should be broadcasted on all major news networks 24/7 so that our esteemed politicians get it. Then again, do they really want to get it?
This July, I will be 51 years-old and I am coming to grips where someday I will no longer have health insurance and just that thought terrifies me since I am an epileptic who also suffers from a heart arrhythmia. I take five prescription drugs so I do not seize or where my heart condition does not get worse. Forget the primary care since I must keep these two conditions in check. Copayments have increased.
The reason why I will not be covered at some point is that my husband craves a divorce although he admitted he cannot afford it right now. Reason is, he has a girl friend. Some have said to me divorce him now, but that is akin to putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger since it will leave me uninsured. After a divorce decree goes through all of my medical benefits go with it since these benefits come from his job. So, I just deal.
To the naysayers of any government-run-health-care system, call it anything you want to call it such as socialized medicine: But from my perspective, I would rather be seen by a doctor than go without. The difference for me is life and death and frankly, that is the terror millions of Americans are going through this very moment. As I come to grips with my future, I can certainly understand their present.
Forget Al Qaeda when the terror that faces millions of Americans is no health insurance. Osama bin Laden is so far out of people’s minds as the medical bills come to their homes. Their enemy is not sleeper cells, terrorist cells in a far off land, but their own government as well as insurance companies as well as drug companies.
Yet, here we have the hosts, pundits and politicians bloviate where at this very moment, an American citizen has just died because they could not afford to go see a doctor. No one is hearing of their death and this one issue must be front and center as Americans are dying from lack of health-care. How many who succumbed to ‘Swine Flu’ did not have health insurance as the media concentrated on that story?
Some in Washington, D.C., screech about the cost of any government-run system, yet fork over billions upon billions to fund endless wars now approaching $1 trillion dollars. They seem to come together to spend these billions ending lives, but separate or switch sides when it comes to saving lives. How truly pathetic.
They may mock countries such as Canada, Cuba and Venezuela: At least their governments value human life by funding health care systems where each citizen has access to a doctor. The doctors in Cuba may work for pittance, but they are acting as healers instead of bean counters. Is their system perfect? Maybe not, but at least their citizens do not live in terror of not seeing a doctor.
In his speech before the A.M.A. (American Medical Association) yesterday, President Barack Obama asked those doctors gathered if they entered this field to act as healers or bean counters.
We seem to puff out our chests with pride when it comes to our health-care system over other countries, but when you have millions not having access to it: Is it a perfect system? No, it is not. Just how great is a new MRI machine or CAT-scan machine or treatments for one disease after another when millions cannot pay for these tests and treatments? It is like dangling a treat before their eyes, but saying: You cannot have it as you snatch it away.
Just for your information, I have had MRIs and the cost of each test is $1,500.00. If you are an epileptic without health insurance: How can you afford such a test? You cannot! MRIs are important since the first one I had showed what was causing my epilepsy. I have a lesion on my brain caused from a bike accident I had when I was six.
Contained within many health insurance packets are drug benefits and just the other day I had to fill my Tegretol prescription and the copayment was $40 dollars. I tremble in fear knowing someday, I will have to pay the full amount and that is just one drug that I take. To any naysayer of a government-run-system: Look in your medicine cabinet and see how many prescriptions you are presently taking, and if you are presently without health insurance you must be seething at those who wish to protect the pharmaceutical companies as well as insurance companies. If you are not; I do not understand why. Oh wait, I do understand why. You have allowed a government run system to be demonized with words like socialism, Marxism and the like.
It just seems to me that in this country, we protect profits over people’s lives. Oh and speaking of these big pharmaceutical companies: Just how much does it cost to air those ads on television? Is the increase in price of prescription drugs directly related to ad-buys? One commercial that gets my attention lately, is a drug for the treatment of depression; Abilify. I just wonder if they have seen a spike in sales given the myriad of issues that face Americans today.
As the media has focused on the protests in Iran where people have taken to the streets concerning their presidential election, in this country I feel it important that the millions upon millions take to the street who presently do not have health insurance or who are underinsured. We have heard from news hosts, pundits and politicians: Left out of the health care debate are the voices of millions. In viewing the protests taking place in Iran we witnessed some carrying signs stating: “Where’s my vote”, in this country, our country, I would love to see 47 million of signs stating: “Where’s my health care?”
As a writer, I love playing with imagery: Imagine if you will those signs being carried by folks in wheel chairs, wearing oxygen tanks, wearing chemo-tanks or coffins being pushed symbolizing just how many have died because of lack of health insurance. Think of how that would play around the world being covered by foreign news services. It would say, we are not able to take care of our own as we try and tell others how to.