Bundle of Contradictions

Cedar Burnett

Cedar Burnett
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Seattle, Washington, USA
Birthday
September 19
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I once had lunch with Kenny Rogers. More at cedarburnett.com

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Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2012 4:23PM

An open letter to people on the fence about Obamacare

Rate: 65 Flag
Dear healthy people,

It’s great that you’re deriving intellectual pleasure from debating Obamacare. I love that this theoretical dance you’re engaged in has no repercussions to you, a healthy individual. I would love to join you some evening for a spirited discussion on the pros and cons of healthcare reform. Maybe over a glass of wine? Heck--over two or three glasses of wine. I’d love to lean forward, my arched brows furrowed, my full lips purple with the stain of a good Zinfandel, and throw out statistics and well-crafted one-liners about the plight of the uninsured, the underinsured, the sick. Those poor, poor sick.

But I can’t.

I can’t because it isn’t theoretical. I am sick. I’m so sick I can’t drink. I can’t drink and I can’t eat half the things a normal person eats and when I hear the word “Obamacare” hissed in snide derision I want to put a golf club through the windshield of the nearest Mercedes Benz.

I’m 33 years old. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called ulcerative colitis when I was
26.

Ulcerative colitis isn’t a disease people like to discuss. Most of what we experience is so embarrassing that many of us don’t tell people what we’re going through. We might tell you we’re “sick,” or “under the weather,” but we won’t tell you how bad it is. We won’t tell you we’ve had constant diarrhea for days, weeks, months on end, that we’ve been throwing up stomach acid, that we can’t eat anything but bagels, and that our joints ache so badly it’s hard to sleep. We won’t tell you how we’re wearing adult diapers under our clothes. We won’t tell you that getting in the car and driving three blocks away is the only activity we can do in an entire day.

But you know what we will tell you? We have to have insurance. We need healthcare and support because ulcerative colitis is a lifetime sentence. You know what else it is? A pre-existing condition. Since receiving my diagnosis I have lived in fear of losing my insurance because if I let my insurance lapse, and Obamacare fails, I won’t be able to get it again. Ulcerative colitis and her sister, Crohn’s Disease, are up there in the echelons of Scary Diseases Insurance Doesn’t Like to Cover.

I get it, I do. Some of our drugs cost a ton. It’s likely we’ll be hospitalized here and there. And many of us can look forward to bowel resection surgery or colon cancer. We’re expensive and we stay expensive for our entire lives. That’s the sticking point with chronic illness like Crohn’s and colitis: We’re sick but we just keep on living. We just don’t die fast enough.

If the health mandate stays, then the pre-existing condition clause goes away. Insurance companies have to take everyone--even me. Lose the mandate and I’m right back to worrying about my care.

In truth, I think Obamacare doesn’t go far enough. My family is still coughing up $900 a month to insure the three of us, since my husband and I are self-employed. That’s pretty unsustainable. But at least the current plan includes a provision that insurance companies have to take me. I may have to pay ridiculous sums to keep my insurance, but I’m not going to live in fear of being dropped.

The last thing a sick person should have to worry about is how to pay for their care. The last thing the parent of a sick child or the child of a sick parent should have to worry about is how to pay for care. People should not have to choose between food and medicine, losing their house or losing their loved one. Let’s hold onto Obamacare as a stop-gap, but let’s also work toward the goal of universal coverage.

For those of you who think of the healthcare reform debate in theoretical terms, I warn you--your day is coming. Sure, you and your family are healthy now, but you might not be tomorrow. Sickness can come out of nowhere and knock your world upside down.

You’d better hope you have decent coverage. You’d better hope you’ve won the genetic lottery and you’ll never find yourself sitting in a flimsy hospital gown on a sheet of wax paper, staring down at your unshaven legs while a doctor tells you you have a golf ball sized tumor in your head or ulcers lining your intestines. You’d better hope Obamacare covers your theoretical ass.

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You said it. Healthy people (and I'm one of them for now) can be unbearably smug about it, as if their good health is somehow proof of their virtue. What a foolish, foolish belief.
What a grim and so well written tale.
I'm so sorry you're caught in the swirling turdpool of American healthcare. I think our lack of national healthcare will eventually be the death of us, and not just individual human beings -- although we've killed plenty of those with neglect, but our position as a "great nation" that attracts industry and intellectuals. In a global economy, it makes less and less sense for entrepreneurs and young people with marketable skills to settle here or STAY here when other countries offer a better quality of life at a lower cost. (I'm pretty sure our son will be immigrating to Australia. He has cousins who have worked in Japan, Italy and Thailand. There are middle class kids, with degrees. Leaving...)
Well said. Fingers crossed. I really don't understand all the controversy. It doesn't seem to be a radical bill to me.
Wonderfully written. Good on you.
Not to mention the stress all of this must cause for you and your family...

We need a health care system more like many European countries have for their citizens. The health care bill being examined by the Supreme Court doesn't go far enough by a long shot. I met my new doctor today. While discussing U.S. healthcare with the young woman who showed me to the exam room and took my blood pressure and pulse, I realized she had no idea that most industrialized countries do provide reasonable or free health care for all. Granted, she was not a doctor or probably a nurse, but she has worked at Oregon Health Sciences University for seven years in the same position. If people within the system do not understand that government intervention in healthcare might make the system work better for people, rather than insurance or drug companies, how can we expect the general population to overcome their ignorance of how to fix our system.
Well said.

Although my health plan comes from my wife's employer, we've already gotten one big benefit from Obamacare: our two daughters between the ages of 19 and 26 are now covered on our plan, whereas they weren't before. That's a big relief, not to mention a savings of money.

I agree with beauty1947 about the need for a European-style system. I believe that one of the biggest reasons Americans suffer so much stress and depression is that their safety net is so weak - one medical disaster can plunge your family into poverty. Obamacare isn't everything I wish it would be, but it's a big improvement over what we had (and probably the best deal we could get currently politically).
[r] thank you. I am sorry to hear of your profound health challenge. i am glad you are getting health care support and I wish it were more for you and cheaper for you.

60% of the country (most without the profound reality grounding of what you are going through) wanted universal health care for America. What happened? Manipulative corporate lobbying and disinforming talking points and hate speak against "socialism." We needed a humanitarian champion not a political gamesman for citizens rights and needs. Profits way over people. Still with Obamacare.

Yes, Obamacare has some serious advantages, but we could have taken out the avaricious vendors from the equation with their obscene profit-making if the corporatists didn't capture both political legacy parties. We could have covered EVERYONE like every other industrial nation that recognizes its responsibility to caretake as best it can the welfare of all its national family.

I know people who are iced out of good health care with or without Obamacare and are facing premature death. One a young mother with children.

We all get the taste of stark reality and physical vulnerability at different moments. Plunged out of the theoretical as you say to the horrifyingly and challengingly real.

Thank you for your share.

best, libby
You did a great job of taking the issue of healthcare home. So many people suffering because they have no insurance, not enough insurance, no money, not enough money.....it is not right.
I'm going to hope for the best, both for you and our nation.
I'm fifty-one and on disability. I need two new knees. If I lived in an economic powerhouse like Belgium, I'd have been back to work long ago.
Sometimes I think we should change our national motto to "Buy Low-Sell High."
Cedar - Sorry to hear of your problem. There is no doubt that I come across as one that thinks this is a exercise in legal debating skills. But it is much more than that for me as well.

I have a couple life time sentences. Chronic and debilitating.
And on top the other separate things I also deal with symptoms similar, but not as severe as yours. In fact, I just swallowed a camera recently. You would know what they are looking for.
I too am an insurance companies nightmare. I won't mention the already diagnosed other condition but they are on the list of scary. The kind of things that medical science does not know why it is, can't cure; only manage, and gets worse.

I would talk to you. Talk to someone in the same boat but happens to feel differently about ACA. Single payer would be the best option for you and me.

I also have other friends that are sick, but do not support ACA. They have their reasons which are different than mine.

What I do know is this if it is helpful. A friend is also in the same boat. She is severely ill and disabled. Her only insurance option is called something like "The Texas Risk Pool". To qualify she had to be turned down by 3 other insurers, which of course she was. It is expensive. About $1000 a month for herself.

Maybe your state has such a program if you should lose your current insurance or whatever that is.
Brava. Your arguments carry especial weight since you are so directly affected by not having what you need. If you feel too crappy to throw golf clubs through mercedes windshields, I'll be happy to help.

A good friend of mine went through and died of Hodgkins lymphoma before she was 29. In addition to facing all the fear and sadness of early death, and all the physical horrors of cancer treatment, she was devastated to know what it was costing her already strapped family.

I don't think it should cost a family everything ELSE they've spent their whole lives building and saving over their lifetimes while they try to save the life of a parent, sister, brother or child.

rated
My husband was diagnosed with melanoma. In a moment of weakness, I mentioned this to my boss. My appointment was not renewed and now we struggle to maintain insurance. Thank you for sharing your story.
Your disease is putting you through a horrible life, and no one would want to see you not be cared for to the best therapy available today. You story is the mirror image of millions of other stories of Americans going through their own personal hell.

The issue, as I see it, is not that most citizens would not want to seek ways to help those in need of care, the issue is the outrageous rape of the process by radical democrats, led by the Obama/Reid/Pelosi troika that thrashed the legislative process to shove a 2,700 page unwanted Bill down the throats of Americans. With "super majorities in both Houses of Congress", liberals basically locked Republicans out of the process, special interest groups had a field day adding their favorite programs to the Bill, special "committees" were enabled that will determine healthcare for all of us based on cost/benefit analysis, and the Secretary of HHS has been given carte blanche to promulgate rules, regulations, mandates, etc, without Congressional review.

And so our Representatives get this legislation, and made to vote on it, "unread" but under a firm stranglehold by the democrat leadership. In a one liner that was equivalent to spitting in the face of the electroplate, Ms. Pelosi said, "we had to pass the Bill so you could find out what was in it!" This wasn't a Bill passed by the Constitutional Congress of the United States, but more like the Politburo of the former Soviet Union.

The public was lied too, the public was given promises that can't be kept, and the law itself totally changes the relationship between government and citizens. For the first time in the history of our country, Americans are being "mandated" to buy a service from a private company whether they want it or not, or face a penalty. The impact on premiums of the demands for coverage increases by the Insurance companies is already being reflected in higher premiums, and in corporations slowing down hiring in view of the uncertainty over just how high the costs of adding an employee will be with all the "add-ons" already being seen. The original 2,700 pages has ballooned to over 15,000 pages, and growing.

Thousands of companies, unions, non-profits, and others, have asked for and received "waivers" from having to comply with the early stage demands of Obamacare or they would have had to fire employees.
Until today, most people have no clue what some of the provisions in Obamacare are with the range being from payment for "marriage counseling" services, to cutting the allowable contribution to Health Savings Accounts, to paying for birth control pills.

Psycho-Drama TV entertainer, Chris Matthews, is besides himself and hysterical after the past three days of Supreme Court testimony. Already he and Carville are spinning a decision that the law is unconstitutional is the result of a radical conservative Court.

That ruling has not been made, and there are some that would want SCOTUS to go through the legislation and pick and choose parts, in other words, do the legislative job that Congress should have done.

That the American healthcare system needs to be reformed is obvious. However, finding a solution is not going to be answered by the ideology of one party working with special interest groups. It should be done in the sunlight, totally open and transparent, with experts questioned and contributing through committees as would normally be the case.

Massachusetts citizens chose to adopt a single payer system, Vermont has another system that works for them,. Every State has the right to handle this issue based on the will of its people. The Federal Government does not have the power to mandate, but only to conscript and order Jury duty. It cannot regulate commerce where there is no commerce.
Cedar - I meant to add something else. I think it is possible the court may find the pre existing clause can stand as well as the 26 yr old clause. But even it the whole law is stuck down,
I feel that there will be support on both sides of the aisle to quickly put those 2 things back into law.
I lived in England for 5 years. While the NHS has many problems, I'd take it in a heartbeat over the American health system.
My concern as a someone who in March is already in Stage 3 of Medicare's Part D insurance because just one of the medications (a biological, disease modifying drug) I use to manage multiple sclerosis retails for over $3,000 a month, is that I am afraid my doctor will have to stop accepting new patients. My understanding is that the payments doctors receive from Medicare are paltry, and that often it takes many billing cycles before the government finally pays. I worry my doctor will give up and retire. I don't know, but I worry. I worry -- for everyone, not just for me but for Cedar, for all the other people who have health problems; and, for the people who don't YET have health problems.
My wife suffers as you do. However, somehow, with us, it didn’t translate into an entitlement perspective that presumed others should pay for her therapy.

It’s not that we are unsympathetic to your condition. What we fail to see is how our medical problem becomes yours, or how your medical problem becomes ours.

Further, contemplate this scenario. Presume all citizens had UC and needed treatment. In addition, presume that all were mandated to have insurance, or that government was the single payer. Either way, does healthcare coverage survive under this scenario? Of course, it does not.

The conclusion is that healthcare coverage can only survive if there are healthy people (ones that do NOT need benefits) paying for coverage. That’s a helluva penalty to pay for not being ill and a helluva disincentive for staying well.
Uncle writes: "The conclusion is that healthcare coverage can only survive if there are healthy people (ones that do NOT need benefits) paying for coverage. That’s a helluva penalty to pay for not being ill and a helluva disincentive for staying well."

But it really doesn't matter if you use the insurance. Because medical costs are so high, anyone with any assets to protect cannot afford to run the risk of being without insurance. You have to have it even if there is little chance that you will need it.

I (and my employers) paid for health insurance for over 25 years, and I rarely used it. Then upon losing employment I had to pay for insurance myself, completely out of pocket. I get no credit for having paid into the system for a quarter of a century, and now I have to pay $786 per month for insurance.

You seem to be advocating a system in which you have employer-paid insurance and are lucky, or you don't and are screwed. At any moment you can have the carpet pulled out from under you from losing your job.

In such a system all of us except the independently wealthy are just one layoff away from the abyss. Be without health insurance and you can go bankrupt, or even die from not being able to afford treatment. Is this really the kind of country we want to have?
Prestige Billiards carries a full selection of superior pool tables in every style, color, and size
@UncleChri - Clearly, you have absolutely no idea how insurance works. Insurance is redistribution of risk. If everyone was healthy, there would be no risk and nothing to redistribute. If everyone was equally sick there would be no point in redistributing the risk. If healthy people didn't help defray costs for sick people, your premiums would be roughly equal to your health care costs, and again we wouldn't need insurance. You aren't paying for the medical bills of other people. You are paying for other people to assume some of your risk.

@Cedar - I changed jobs right after the AHCA went into effect. I got a letter from my new insurer saying that while they would cover me no questions asked in accordance with the new law, any conditions determined to be pre-existing would not be covered, unless I purchased an additional policy (which they would decide if they wanted to sell me, and at what rates, when the need arose, a process that would take at least 90 days).
_________________________________

The problem isn't that we're trying to provide health care for people who need it, and people who can't afford it. The problem is that we aren't doing that, and we haven't really tried.

The question was never "How do we make sure everyone gets quality medical care". The question was always, even in the Kennedy plan, "How can we get everyone to participate in the system we already have, or something as close to it as possible?" Until the system itself is acknowledged as part of the problem, and addressed, we're never going to get this close to right. Because lets face it - Congress, and the administration, didn't blame the health care system for any of our problems. They blamed us.
I pay $300.00 a month for healthcare with a $5000.00 ded. just for myself. Right now I am in the throws of a major IBS attack and can't go to the doctor because I would have to pay entirely out of pocket for care. So I'm trying the right diet approach, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. Fibromyalgia and sleep deprivation don't help. We need a better alternative NOW. Please look up voterocky.org
UncleCri: The conclusion is that healthcare coverage can only survive if there are healthy people (ones that do NOT need benefits) paying for coverage. That’s a helluva penalty to pay for not being ill and a helluva disincentive for staying well.

I don't buy this economic argument.

First, I suspect that most people don't think this way. Do rich people have less of an incentive for staying well because they have good health insurance? It's not an economic decision--people try to be healthy because it's awful to be sick.

Second, economic incentives don't apply in situations where we get sick for reasons beyond our control. Even rational economic actors can get cancer.

Third, your argument implies that universal health coverage would lead to worse healthcare outcomes, but we know this isn't the case. The U.S. population has a lower life expectancy and healthy life expectancy than average among OECD countries, and those higher on the list all have some form of national healthcare systems. The Europeans and Japanese are apparently ignoring the "helluva disincentive for staying well."
Yes we are smug as if good health is a guarantee and not luck beyond any dream of hitting the lottery-or perhaps bad health comes from one of those "sins' that don't appeal to us and the very ill are mostly hidden from us-have you ever seen a politician walking through a long term care facility ? The message is we don't value Americans who are "inconvenient" to our smug attitudes, simple as that, even those who know first hand like Santorum, or Palin.
Like the unseen wars and the homeless, most of us don't see the sick. We're healthy, the people around us are healthy, so why should we care? It's as though most people have totally lost the ability to empathize. I'm thankful for the small progress that was made in the affordable care act legislation - but it hasn't gone far enough. I wish you all the best!
I am so fucking grateful to live in Canada. All the horror stories I read here - from a country that can spend billions to kill people overseas, and quite a handsome sum to keep its legislators (and supremes) in good health care...it's insane.
Your piece resonated with me because I also have Ulcerative Colitis. I have been living with this condition for 12 years, and I have struggled for all of those years to make sure that I never went a day without health coverage. And this was no small feat because I have been through 2 periods of unemployment, am starting on my third now, and have lost coverage through a divorce. At one point we paid $1,300 per month to maintain our family coverage through COBRA just to make sure I didn't fall to the pre-ex clause.

And I know that I am extremely lucky. My UC was pretty severe years ago, making it almost impossible to work or drive across town. I often did not eat out because of what might happen afterwards. I was too sick to carry a baby and had to choose adoption. I went months without sleeping through the night because of flare-ups that ran me to the bathroom for hours on end. It wreaked havoc on my social life and state of mind. And never mind the joint pain that made vacuuming the house an ordeal for a while.

But my condition has improved, and I am lucky to be almost symptom-free for years now. Still, getting private insurance was a nail-biter for me, and I have postponed a very necessary colonoscopy due to high insurance deductibles that put it out of my reach. My best hope for continued coverage is to marry someone with a full time job. And it really shouldn't come to that.

I understand what you are going through, and I know that I will be in your position again at some point. My doctor can't tell me why I am doing well now, but we know it won't last forever. We are but two examples of why denying health coverage and failing to care for our hard-working citizens is a disgrace. We aren't asking for handouts. We are asking for help staying reasonably healthy so we can work and contribute to our communities. Believe me, we are worth it.
I so agree and support you. Good work. Obamacare doesn't go far enough. It's embarrassing that the riches country, most powerful country in the world even hesitates to provide full care for its citizens in need. Somethings - like heathcare - should not be about PROFIT.

You are totally correct: " The last thing a sick person should have to worry about is how to pay for their care. The last thing the parent of a sick child or the child of a sick parent should have to worry about is how to pay for care. People should not have to choose between food and medicine, losing their house or losing their loved one. Let’s hold onto Obamacare as a stop-gap, but let’s also work toward the goal of universal coverage. "
I hope you come to a point where your symptoms recede a bit and give you a breather, like Kristi.

You are so right: so much of the smugness about our health system comes from people who either 1) never have had a serious illness (yet) or 2) have military/Medicare coverage and so don't have to worry about it. It just makes me nuts to hear friends of mine who pay something like $13 a year for complete coverage as a veteran rail against ACA; they are taken care of, but don't see why anyone else should be! We have got to solve this issue in our nation, or we are going to lose more and more talent (and employers) to other countries, just like Bell points out.
the idea of tying health insurance to employment seemed to be a good one after WWII, but it obviously isn't working for any of us. Sorry you have to go through this. RRRRR
Thanks for sharing your story. This is what every person against the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) need to hear. People who are healthy, or are currently insured through their employer just don't get it!

I'm hoping for a painfree life for you. Hugs!
@Uncle Chri

Let's see if I understand your theory --- if someone's willing to pay my bills, I'll sign up for breast cancer. Yep, the only thing stopping me from the thrill of radiation treatments and losing my hair is money. Furthermore, maybe if I need a double mastectomy, and insurance pays for reconstruction, I'll get a new pair of perkier breasts! And if it pays for a wig, too, I won't have to worry about dying the gray. I'll go blonde! Just send the toxic waste my way.

In the mean time, I'm off to break my leg. I have private insurance and want to get value for the money I've invested in it.
As someone who suffers from several autoimmune diseases, I am appalled that so many people are so cavalier about human lives! How can these same people claim to be prolife? I know they are only prolife until the moment of birth. Then after that, it's everyone for themselves! R
I can certainly appreciate your challenges.

About 10 years ago, I worked for a company that offered to reimburse me up to $200 a month for insurance premiums, provided I found my own insurance.

A birth defect in my lower back (spina bifida oculta) put me in the pre-existing category. After being denied coverage by about 15 insurance agents, I checked into the state risk pool.

To keep the out-of-pocket deductible reasonable would mean a premium of over $600/month. To maker the premium affordable, I'd have had to settle for catastrophic coverage with a $7500 annual deductible. The premium would still be twice the reimbursement. (Remember, this was 10 years ago - the numbers could easily be doubled by now)

Meanwhile, I was seeing my primary physician at the local clinic, where I qualified for the sliding scale fee due to inadequate income. Yet, I made too much to qualify for Medicaid or any other type of governmental assistance.

I still gradually ran up a few hundred dollars in unpaid office visits, because some months paying my rent was all I could afford.

I have other health issues as well, but this one is something that I had on the day I was born, and will continue to deal with until the day I die. No lifestyle corrections will ever change that fact. I did nothing to cause it, there is no genuine cure, it's just a crappy roll of the genetic dice.

So why do insurance companies proclaim us to be the guilty parties?
It’s very interesting to see everyone ganging up on UncleChri for his non-sense comment. People need to know that this kind of comment is caused by his significant lack of understanding about what constitutes socialism. Like so many libertarians, they always complain about socialism* this… and socialism that… how evil it is… or how it will destroy the U.S… Because of this, you get silly comments (and blog posts) such as this one above (in which the theme always come down to the fact that everyone should fend for him- or herself).

*and/or communism and/or dictatorship (they always confuse the three)
When you go out Benz smashing give me a call. If it weren't for the VA I'd be dead now, literally. I know how lucky I am that when I was young and healthy I did a hitch in the Navy. I use fifteen different meds every day, some if purchased on the open market cost ten bucks a whack. While I support the poor excuse for a bill that the republicans allowed to pass for its requirement that pre-existing conditions be covered, the only thing that will really do the job for us all is single payer national coverage.
Ass/u/me we all had massive deficits in logic. Then we would all offer fallacious all-or-nothing arguments and absurd surrealistic extrapolations, with the erroneous belief we were making valid points. Because this disorder would be common to every American, there wouldn't be anyone left to ridicule our massive national cerebral deficit, and we'd all die not knowing we're too stupid to realize we're too stupid.

We're all to blame for Uncle Chri. It's the free public education that removed his incentive to become educated.
Great post. You nailed it. People should be able to live their lives without worrying about sickness. When sickness visits and even stays, people should be able to get humane care.
Hi! I, too, have serious pre-existing conditions, including open heart surgery and a minor stroke. I have GOT to have health insurance. The anxiety about this nearly pushed me over the edge last year. Thanks so much for writing this.
It may seem like nitpicking, but what you need isn't insurance. Insurance is about risk-sharing. If you already know you're sick, it's not insurance, it's charity. But you still should get it.
It looks like Goedjn is another one who doesn't understand how insurance works.
Goedjin, so if you have health insurance and you get sick, but then for some reason that you may have absolutely no control over, you lose that insurance, and you have to try to find another plan, you're saying that it's right and just for you to be denied health insurance coverage forever after that?
I understand so well what you're going through, my husband suffers from Ulcerative Colitis too, I couldn't imagine what we would do if we didn't have good health insurance. I find it amazing how the people who are so against Healthcare Reform (I refuse to call it the "O" word) also tend to be not only healthy, but wealthy. They have a safety net. Convenient, huh?

Wishing you health, my friend.
Well done, and good luck, WE ALL NEED IT
I care...I cannot imagine how it must be to be ill in a country whose health care system treats you like an enemy. I live in Canada, and I am thankful. Is our system perfect? No, we have people who die on waiting lists for surgeries like anywhere else. But we leave the hospital without a bill hanging over our heads, and we don't have "case workers" chasing us for money the day after a traumatic injury or diagnosis. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope America can one day get right with this issue. Thank you for sharing your story.
I have Huntington's Disease (HD). It came through my mothers DNA. I, unknowingly, past on the 50/50 risk of having the disease to my two kids. I knew nothing about HD until I was 50. It is a disease that causes people to loose their jobs. You drop stuff, fall down, don't think quickly and forget stuff and get very angry. It is the kind of disease executives at insurance firms know is a financial risk to their incentive plans. I am lucky I live in Canada. Your Christians from America have not gutted our safety nets, like universal health care, so as to fill up the Pentecostal Churches with the not yet born again in their time of personal crisis. Canada is still, for know, the kind of enriching environment I need to delay the onset of HD. But your Christians want to take tax funded safety nets away. It keeps people out of Church and paying tithes. GOP = less tax for more tithes.
I have Huntington's Disease (HD). It came through my mothers DNA. I, unknowingly, past on the 50/50 risk of having the disease to my two kids. I knew nothing about HD until I was 50. It is a disease that causes people to loose their jobs. You drop stuff, fall down, don't think quickly and forget stuff and get very angry. It is the kind of disease executives at insurance firms know is a financial risk to their incentive plans. I am lucky I live in Canada. Your Christians from America have not gutted our safety nets, like universal health care, so as to fill up the Pentecostal Churches with the not yet born again in their time of personal crisis. Canada is still, for know, the kind of enriching environment I need to delay the onset of HD. But your Christians want to take tax funded safety nets away. It keeps people out of Church and paying tithes. GOP = less tax for more tithes.
Paul - We all have deficits in logic. And we all sometimes see things as black and white. Especially when we are anonymous internet posters. There is not enough time for one to explain all the life experience and analysis that one
relies on when they pretty much state their conscious, rather than how they got there.

And respectfully I did not get to my place because I have all the wrong experiences, thinking patterns etc and you have all the correct ones. That would be nonsense.

But in relation to this statement I can the you this:

"We're all to blame for Uncle Chri. It's the free public education that removed his incentive to become educated."

My free high school education in suburban N.O. was literally a detention center for teen age boys. Complete with 10 ft chain link fence with barb wire on top , facing inward, surrounding the entire several block campus.
I survived that zoo. But I know for fact it demotivated thousands of kids for many years. Yes, the ha NO incentive to get an education after that experience. And certainly mine is not the only place it happened.

So while you ere sarcastically calling Chri uneducated, your example is the truth.
That's what I've been saying, and saying and saying! Why don't these political idiots see that EVERYONE will get sick. And will be too sick to work, and when you're sick, and can't work, YOU can't pay for health insurance, which is fine with the health insurance companies because they want to drop you anyway. Pray. I am.
To be sick is a horrible thing. To worry about loosing the coverage is even worse. But... government, our government, is not an answer. Just don' forget that European countries are much smaller. Please, don't forget that they pay a lot for their medical coverage. I believe, it's in the range of 17% tax for the medical insurance. And it is not that good, don't listen to people who never experienced what the socialized medicine is.

Our system, of course, is not perfect, and for many, is not even good. It should be improved and changed. But the Obamacare is not an answer. WE WON'T BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT! Period! To put 300 million people under government care is an absolute utopia. Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security, are broken and on the verge of disappearing - we know that. Our schools are among the worst in the world. Whatever our government puts its hands on - it starts crumbling and becomes a burden on the way of disappearance . Weren't you wandering why Pelosi and others didn't want them to be covered by this "great plan"? They didn't want anything to do with it. Why?

As much as I would like to believe a few Canadians here, I think that they are missing something: Canada is now working on changing the medical health system. It's broken, as well. The same in Britain. Why people come here from Canada for care? Didn't you think about that? And I don't think that our youth is leaving, but I know that there are a long lines in many countries whose people would like to come here.

What the government should do is to have a reform. To open borders between states that much more insurance companies could compete; not to force people into Medicare if they can stay without; they have to change the way it works with insurance companies: my sister was enrolled in Medicare when she turned 65 without even her knowledge. Medicare just told her that she is enrolled although she was still working and didn't need Medicare. When she retired and got part B, paying something like $130, she kept her old insurance as the other one to cover 20% that Medicare 's not paying - and the pay for the insurance company was the same as before. But now they cover only 20%. When she called and asked why was it so, the insurance company said that this was the way the contract with Medicare was negotiated. So, Medicare pays 80% of the bill, the insurance company pays (and sometimes they did not for one reason or another) 20%, but they charge the amount they charged for 100% coverage. Isn't it stupid? Only bureaucrats can negotiate the contract like that! Only the government! Therefore, we don't need the Obamacare, it will be a misery you couldn't imagine in your darkest dream. Let's reform what we have now!
Yet again, we have another one, ingaz, who doesn’t know how insurance works, even less about the characteristics of different health care systems. It has become an epidemic.
Even when I was younger, and healthy. I could never understand people who said " I don't need health insurance!"
I too am in the same boat as you. When I was forced to retire, I lost my insurance. The COBRA they offered, was way more than I could afford. I then accepted what I thought was a more acceptable policy. It had a huge deductible, and the payments were still almost more than I could afford, but at least I had insurance. Then the reality of it all struck home. It took one year to go into effect. When I finally was able to go to a doctor, a routine blood test revealed a "pre-existing condition" that I had been unaware of. Something simple as herpes! Well, I got dropped by my insurance. After paying them for a year, I ended up getting nothing NADA! But Obamacare too, failed me. Although I can get coverage, it is higher even than my COBRA was, and it also does not cover ANY pre-existing conditions. So my Afib is not covered. So why bother! I figured i'd wait for Medicare to kick in in another year. Now the rethuglicans want to take that aware also.
Let's band together. You get the golf club, I'll get some rocks!
@Ingaz - I always chuckle when people who know nothing about our system beyond biased commercials or some rumors but yet speak knowingly.

"As much as I would like to believe a few Canadians here, I think that they are missing something: Canada is now working on changing the medical health system. It's broken, as well. The same in Britain. Why people come here from Canada for care? Didn't you think about that?"

We're always adjusting the system. We're not cast in stone. It ain't broken. Some rich Canadians who want The Best, and Right Now, or whatever go to the U.S. - so what? Americans go to India for hip replacements - it's immediate and it's cheaper. So what? These people are statistically unimportant. As for not believing us Canadians here - what does that mean? My half-century of experience since our socialized health system came into effect means nothing next to your uninformed speculation?

Which reminds me: My late husband put off seeing about his hips while nursing his late wife. After her death and he was in great pain, and he thought about going to the U.S., where he could get replacements at (if I remember right) $35,000 a hip - which he could afford, tho not everyone. But first he went to his doctor - who took one look at the X-rays and got him immediate surgery. At no out-of-pocket cost.

Don't presume to tell me how you don't know whether to "believe" us about what we say about our system.

Yeah, we in Canada and people in Europe pay more in taxes to cover health care. Nevertheless, the per-capita cost for health care in our countries is LESS than in the U.S. - you just get gouged by health bills you pay directly and by the insurance companies. Oh yes, and our outcomes are better. And EVeryone gets care.

Damn, I can't find it now in my "history", but I was reading something in the press this morning about some poor woman in your country who put off going to a doctor and now is dying of cancer...and can't even get treatment, being shuffled from institution to institution. Okay, now I'm remembering a bit - it was written by a person who got their health-care training in Canada and is now working in the U.S., and is shocked by what she's seeing... Wish I could find it now, but it doesn't matter: there are many stories like that, and you can read some of them right here on OS.
Myriad: Indeed, it's hard not to laugh when we see comments, such as the one written by Ingaz.

People are better off getting accurate information here (as an example):

Ballooning health care cost: is Medicare the culprit?
Myriad - Your system may well work for most for the people most of the time.
You seems to like your system and I am no one to say otherwise.
But would you trade your system for this thing we passed?

Is see ACA, with a few exceptions like preexisting coverage and age 26, to be the worse of your system, our current and the ACA. Your are not stuck with this thing, we are.

Also, yo have to see this was not just about health care.
There are many of us the were concerned about the future powers of the gov is ACA stands. This may not matter to you but it does to a lot of us.
The ends do not justify means we cannot accept for future legislation.

We need a reform done in a constitutional way that would not open the door things totally unrelated to health care.

ACA supporters refuge to see the very same means may well require them to buy guns when the rethuglicans get in power.

There is much more on the line for us than health care.
But sometimes I think ACA supporters actually want both. They want ACA AND they want the precedent that give fed gov complete power over the states.

I am starting to think they are more upset about the latter.
The best I have heard. Now let's pray our fate is in the hands of human beings. RRRRRRRRRRRR
@Joseph. Odd how paranoid Americans are about their government. Perhaps if you didn't have the weird deadlock system c/w legalized bribery... We're not only better off with our socialized medicine, but also with our parliamentary system. P.S. - Our provinces all tend to health care in their own ways. The fed tells them they gotta provide health care for all, and coughs up the majority of the $, but this isn't an opening for "complete power" over them. (Another of the American paranoid things...)
@Ingaz - I'm Canadian and we have our most right-wing government in our history. Even they wouldn't dare undermine the public payer health care system. They just brought down their first budget as a majority government and didn't move a whit against the health care system. Whoever is feeding you this nonsense is seriously deluded. And you must be awfully credulous.
Thank you , Cedar! I've reposted your article here (https://www.facebook.com/mark.sentesy) and here (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150656306191749&set=a.53081056748.66806.6815841748&type=1)
I thank the universe almost every day that I am a Canadian when I think about our health care system. My husband was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago. He had a year of chemotherapy, a month of radiation, 3 surgeries and lengthy hospitalizations. He was also unable to work for a long time. A web site that brought together others suffering from this cancer would bring me in touch with Americans who were having the same cancer treatments. They all lost their homes, pensions, and sometimes their lives. I kept track of what they spent on care....and then I calculated what his illness would have cost us in medical bills. Over $1.7 million I would have spent to try and save his life if we had been in the USA. It cost us ZERO dollars here in Canada for his care. ZERO. I didn't spend a cent on hospitals, drugs or care. Then our federal government PAID him a Canada Pension disability pension while he was ill too. Many years I have complained about our higher taxes - but I will never complain again. We got to keep everything - our home, pensions, and our sanity while he struggled to survive. And yes, he survived. Canadians tend to go to the US when they want experimental drugs that haven't passed a slower governmental approval process here in Canada. Sometimes when your life is hanging by a thread you are willing to travel to the US and pay for a chance to survive. Or rich Canadians will travel elsewhere to jump the line just to get their surgery faster. (In Canada - they try to prioritize who needs care first by severity of your situation) While on that web site - it broke my heart that Canadians and Europeans were able to concentrate on getting better, while Americans concentrated on paperwork, selling homes and liquidating assets. Why on earth do so many Americans fight the concept of socialized medicine. It's not communism - it's the principle that everyone deserves health care. ALL of us are entitled to it. I think Obama is trying very hard to bring America forward from the health care dark ages you are stuck in. Cedar - I wish I could bring you to Canada and ease your pain. I wish I could somehow make this easier for you.
I just have to say that I'm completely humbled by all of your comments and stories. Thank you so much for sharing them with me!
Oh wait. I forgot. I did pay for something. The hospital parking fee and gas to get to the hospital. And then I was able to claim it on my tax return as a medical deduction and got it back.
Cedar..more to me is to have your health and this is my wish...Trully written..make someone like me ..a Greek one..understand..and feel the situation...Health has no nationality ...

You wrote it the best one could thought.."..you and your family are healthy now, but you might not be tomorrow. Sickness can come out of nowhere and knock your world upside down. .."

Rated,wishes for what you wish to come true..Best regards.Excellent in writing and thinking.
Cedar..more to me is to have your health and this is my wish...Trully written..make someone like me ..a Greek one..understand..and feel the situation...Health has no nationality ...

You wrote it the best one could thought.."..you and your family are healthy now, but you might not be tomorrow. Sickness can come out of nowhere and knock your world upside down. .."

Rated,wishes for what you wish to come true..Best regards.Excellent in writing and thinking.
Kanuk, the only response you're able to come with is he/she "... doesn’t know how insurance works, even less about the characteristics of different health care systems. " I would like to read something from you of how much you know about how insurance companies operate and especially about your knowledge of "different health care systems". Please, stop insulting mine and other people intelligence. I know much more than you! I lived through the government run health care; I almost lost my child due to a "high quality" of that care and I lost my best girl friend due to a "high quality" health care in Canada. She died of breast cancer. First she got a wrong diagnosis, then three months later she was diagnosed correctly and had to wait for six month to start treatment! And it was too late to save her. 43 years old beautiful woman died because of that "great system", leaving behind two beautiful children. Do you know that in Canada it is normal for people to wait three or more months to see a specialist after receiving a general practitioner referral? There even was a case brought to their Supreme Court that declared that this waiting practice is against Canadian human rights law. Do you know that Canadian hospitals are so bad that one in every 152 acute care patients dies because of "preventable adverse events", while two in 10 patients contract a hospital-spread infection or are given the wrong medicine? Do you know that government insurance doesn't cover any dental care or covers any medications? And do you know that people in Canada, who are under the government health care can't see a private doctors even if they are able and/or willing to pay for the services with their own money? They are completely under government control!

I have an insurance. I pay for it - it's not cheap, but I have the best care I could imagine. I had a couple of serious surgeries and didn't pay a penny out of my pocket. My mother had two hip replacement surgeries at the tender age of 72 on one leg, and 81 on the other. She was able to walk normally and live happily for a long time. How long Canadians wait for a hip replacement surgery? - sometimes more than a year!

As for Myriad: if you are " so fucking grateful to live in Canada" - stay there. This is not your place to tell us about how our system works, because you don't have a slightest idea of what you're talking about. You never experienced anything but your system and you're so happy that you are just like everybody else, no matter that the care you received it's far away from being even adequate.

Yes, we have a number of people who suffer under the system we have here. That's why I said we need a reform. But in no way we need government to provide a medical care for us. Government doesn't know how to provide anything worth talking about.
ingaz, you still don’t know what you’re talking about. What you wrote here applies to you about what’s going on up north: “stay there. This is not your place to tell us about how our system works…

ingaz writes “Kanuk, the only response you're able to come with is he/she "... doesn’t know how insurance works, even less about the characteristics of different health care systems. " I would like to read something from you of how much you know about how insurance companies operate and especially about your knowledge of "different health care systems".

The case against the U.S. health care system

Let's Spread the Risk! (I mean Health care; Not Flu.)

You should check out what happened when all Canadian provinces introduced a real single-payer system:

Ballooning health care cost: is Medicare the culprit?

Weird, isn’t when the government got involved in the management of health care?

Part II to follow.
ingaz, you still don’t know what you’re talking about. What you wrote here applies to you about what’s going on up north: “stay there. This is not your place to tell us about how our system works…

ingaz writes “Kanuk, the only response you're able to come with is he/she "... doesn’t know how insurance works, even less about the characteristics of different health care systems. " I would like to read something from you of how much you know about how insurance companies operate and especially about your knowledge of "different health care systems".

The case against the U.S. health care system

Let's Spread the Risk! (I mean Health care; Not Flu.)

You should check out what happened when all Canadian provinces introduced a real single-payer system:

Ballooning health care cost: is Medicare the culprit?

Weird, isn’t when the government got involved in the management of health care?

Part II to follow.
Since you’re always railing against the government for everything, perhaps you could suggest that our active duty military personnel who are engaged in combat pay for their own medical insurance:

Without health care, the U.S. will lose the perpetual war

Let’s look at out-of-pocket costs:

Let's compare Public and Private health care costs, eh?

Hey, I even one that explains why Medicare is not a single-payer system. It was published a few months ago.

Those above are only a short sample of all my posts on this subject.
Above:

Weird isn’t when the Canadian and provincial governments got involved in the management of health care?
This morning I was curious to see if anyone had comments about my first person account of CDN vs US healthcare experiences. I was thinking later that I wish I had more solid statistical data to present to support my feeling that universal health care was something to be proud of.

Thank you Kanuk for providing such a huge amount of data and analysis. That was amazing to see.

Ingaz - I am so sorry you lost your friend to breast cancer. Mistakes being made like that are just unthinkable and plain wrong.

After reading a couple of responses I would like to add a few points. And may I start by saying I love the US. I visit often and have many friends there. This is not US bashing.

1) Yes, in Canada there are sometimes long waits and I am sad to say that mistakes and delays do happen. There are 2 possible reasons for delays. Canada is such a huge country that doctors tend to practice in major metropolitan areas. Wait times in rural areas can be much much longer. Doctors here are sometimes needed in rural areas that are hours away by plane. And if one radiologist does CAT scans for an entire rural area it's hard. Those referrals get bogged down by the fact there are sometimes no doctors to send people to.....or a long long line up of people.

2) The doctor who treated my husband moved to the US shortly after he saved my husband's life. Why? Because he was offered a salary that he just couldn't refuse. He was offered millions of dollars to leave this country. And with a heavy heart - he did.

3) Drugs are covered - they are completely free if you are given the drug while in the hospital. My husband's chemo cost $3,000 a month and was free because he was given it while being hospitalized. When he was released the $3,000 cost was covered by his employers benefits plan for 11 months.

So once out of the hospital, many drugs are covered by an employers benefits plan. If you were poor the welfare system would provide drugs to you. If you were middle class and something like out of the hospital chemo needed to be paid for and you were not working...there is the Trillium Program in Ontario to help you pay. If you are of a pensionable age your drugs are often paid for by the federal government as well. If you are on a disability pension like ODSP, drugs are covered too. But there are cases where you have to pay for your own drugs. It's not right to suggest we pay for drugs when there are many situations in which we don't. My kids get free eye exams and my elderly parents do too. Each province is different. Just as you have federal and state governments - we have federal and provincial governments. While most of the coverage is the same from province to province...there are some differences.

3) Regarding private doctors in Canada. There aren't too many that I know of. But YES, we can see them. My father saw a private doctor in Toronto to get a hernia operation and paid for it because he wanted to jump the line and get it done faster. He was in pain. When you are in pain you will do almost anything to make it stop. Because he lived in a rural area he thought the wait time was too long so he paid. And then claimed it on his federal tax return as a medical expense and got most of the money back.

And I don't wish to be disrespectful here - but when you tell us we are under government control it makes me shake my head. You allow your government to send your young men and women to war to possibly be killed and yet don't think the government should have a role in their health care when they return. I really don't understand it. Help me understand it. Our troops are in the middle east as well, and they come home to universal health care, federal Canadian pension plans and such. Why are your citizens expected to do so much for their country and are onditioned to expect nothing in return?

I spent 5 years on a web site with people from all over the world trying to save their lives when this cancer hit. I met hundreds of people online. In the US - over and over I read about the "sophies choice" scenario. Do I sell my house to try and raise the money to PERHAPS save my spouse, or do I let my spouse die because I need to think about the financial future of the healthy family being left behind? Day after day your citizens were struggling to make these horrible choices about how much care to give your loved one based on how much money you could scrape together.

This is a complex and emotionally charged issue. But please do not post facts here about the Canadian health care system that are misleading. Take the time to read what Kanuk posted and think about his facts. Cedar deserves better, as do all Americans.
Ingaz - Excuse me, but you are full of it. To take this one:

" And do you know that people in Canada, who are under the government health care can't see a private doctors even if they are able and/or willing to pay for the services with their own money? They are completely under government control!"

I live here and have gone to doctors for the half century the system has been in place, and I go to any doctor I want...and have changed doctors because I didn't like something. I am going in for minor surgery on Tuesday and was given my choice of surgeons. Why do you think you know more about our scene than we do?
hulagirl4evermore: Thank you! Greatly appreciated.

Yeah, I really don’t like when people come here and start spreading misinformation, often based on GOP talking points, about the health care system in Canada.

In case you didn’t read it, my third (and very long) post I wrote on OS more than 2 years ago describes the differences between the Canadian and U.S. health care systems on a wide variety of subjects (similar to your comment above):

Health Care Comparison: Universal vs U.S - Part II

It should be pointed out that my posts have been used and referred to by academics and, because of those, I could have been interviewed on the CBC national radio last year. Unfortunately, I was away when they tried getting in touch with me.

As Myriad indicated (who knows much more than ingaz on this topic) above, the majority of medical doctors in Canada work in private practice, the exact same way as the doctors do in the U.S. The only difference is that the physician deals with one insurance company compared to several in the U.S., hence lower overhead costs. This is in fact discussed in great details in the link above.
Kanuk, stop this nonsense of telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about. As I said before I know it much-much better than you with all your old statistics (from 1997?!) and your complete misrepresenting of you as some kind of "scientist-mathematician". If you have any mathematical knowledge of anything, do your home work and find out how much it's going to be to cover over 311 million people. Don't forget that USA has the biggest population after China and India. Canada is a huge country with a population of 35 MILLIONS. Almost 10 times smaller than USA. According to Statistics Canada report: "...spending on health care in Canada grew at an average annual rate of 7.4% over the past decade! In British Columbia's $16.5 billion health care budget is up 76% since 2000". It's not a secret that their medical care is deteriorating. In England (with a population of 62 millions) the government providing medical care is called by British media as "sometimes uncaring, often unresponsive and typically disrespectful health care system" (The Burton Report).

For Canadian ladies to criticize the system (our system) that they've never experienced, is not very wise. What I said about Canadian system I said from words of my friends (and I have quite a few in Canada), but, again, they can't compare two systems, because they know only one they use. I experienced a government provided health care for more than 20 years of my life, I know what it is, and I will not EVER recommend it to any civilized country. Of course, it's good to know that you are covered, even if the care is a horror, and many would argue that it's better to have some coverage than do not have any. That's why our system should be reformed. Canada doesn't have a hundred of thousand illegal immigrants coming to them each year. BTW, their immigration policies are very strict: they only allow people to come if they have great skills, and/or education that will be useful for their economy. Let's try to have something like that in our country!

What I'm saying is there isn't a golden key to open the door to the perfect world or perfect medical system. Let's just be civil, talk to each other with respect and exchange ideas, instead of calling names, using ugly words and put somebody's cent of "wisdom" in regard to issues they do not understand.
ingaz writes "Kanuk, stop this nonsense of telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about. As I said before I know it much-much better than you with all your old statistics (from 1997?!) and your complete misrepresenting of you as some kind of "scientist-mathematician". If you have any mathematical knowledge of anything, do your home work and find out how much it's going to be to cover over 311 million people. Don't forget that USA has the biggest population after China and India..

Stop projecting your own ignorance onto others. You don't know squat, period! The number of people is irrelevant. So far, you just offer opinions (often based on second-hand information it looks like) that are not based on reality. It would so easy to swipe the floor with your bogus arguments point-by-point. Unfortunately, you’re not worth my time anymore.
And here's another wild and infuriating issue you didn't mention as a person with disability:

For those who are 65 and older, individual states MUST require that insurance companies provide low-cost secondary insurance (insurance at very low rates to cover the gap in health care costs not covered by Medicare) for retirees on Social Security and any pre-existing conditions cannot cause their rates to be increased.

However! If you are under 65 and on SS for say a disability like yours, that requirement is out the door with the trash and the "pre-existing conditions" caused by that disability are either unavailable, or for those who can get it, must pay more for their secondary insurance than what they likely get from SS.

BUT! We have the best health care system in the world!!! And if you don't believe that, ask any of those blind, ignorant, jerks who continually repeat that pathetic, worn-out, erroneous phrase.

You are absolutely right! Obamacare did little to nothing for the folks like you and millions of others. But we can spend trillions on bombs for Iraq and Afghanistan because that supports big corporations that feed off of war like carp on popcorn.
"the "pre-existing conditions" caused by that disability are either unavailable, "

rather, "the COVERAGE for pre-exisitng conditions caused by that disability is either unavailable"
Cedar, what can I say? This piece is so well-written, darkly humorous and sobering. It is chilling to think that morons are considering appealing Obamacare.
One of the best all-time EP's on OS, and one of the best discussions, even with all the wrangling and flaming by a few.

RATED, recommended.
I'm late to comment but this is a well-written post. Well-done.
I am the wife of a physician and daughter of a physician. My father was a pediatrician in WVA and treated the children of the coal miners, at times driving into the small mining towns. He took personal care of each and every child that came into his office whether they could pay or not. He made house calls, sat up all night with parents, jumped into the shower with a child to get the temperature down quickly, personally driving a child in need to the nearest hospital. He worked with Senator, then Governor Jay Rockefeller for heath care in WVA for mothers, infants and children. He helps begin the WIC program and other services to provide free vitamins and similac to young poor mothers. I am fortunately at this moment well and on Medicare, but I fear for all those less fortunate who will not have a physician like my father to care for them. I fear for my children who are well today and grandchildren who at this point in time have health insurance, but what is tomorrow. A tomorrow can wipe out all the todays. We are all one moment from loosing everything due to illness and not personal neglect, but the neglect of the government for the least of us. If this mandate is struck down, we become a nation of only the lucky.
Well said, Cedar! A friend who worked with the disabled once told me what "they" call "us:" TABs, or Temporarily Able-Bodied! We're all at risk of finding ourselves indigent after paying the costs of exams, tests, medications and hospitalizations. I'm now taking care of a friend who worked hard all his life and now has two life-threatening diseases and no health coverage but disability. And the paperwork you have to fill out to prove you are in need! Thanks for this fine article.
This nearly brought me to tears. I have Crohn's Disease and completely 100% relate to everything said here.