A Journey of Hope

The health care debate

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Stories are just that. Stories. Everybody’s got them. But whose stories are we listening to?

The healthcare denial industry has grown to swallow up 1/6 of the entire American economy, gutting our competitiveness on the world market. Without healthcare reform the current system will take up 1/3 of the entire economy in a few years.

There’s a story from an average Canadian whose wife just had a baby. He was responding to an American guy who made a post called “My wife recently had a baby, this is the bill…”. The American has health insurance, but he has had to pay $20K out of pocket due to his wife’s pregnancy complications. The Canadian’s wife also had pregnancy issues, surgery, C-section and several days of hospital stay. He only paid for parking, ultrasound photos and, “$10 or $15 [for] a phone in the hospital room.”

And another man from the UK presents his case:

As in Canada, in the UK you pay for the pictures of the scans – £2.50 each and parking – £3.00 for 2 hours. What else does it cost me, well we have to pay National Insurance Contributions, which are deducted from your wages at source, much like tax. This payment is generally to fund the NHS, however it also qualifies me for unemployment benefit, if I find myself jobless, amongst other things. As a % of my gross pay these contributions equate to 7.23%, however they are banded. So my wife, who earns more than me, pays a much smaller % against her gross.

The same arguments against health care reform today were used ten years ago: “government between you and your doctor, socialized medicine is evil, and Canadians have terrible health care.” But if government-run health care is good enough for American troops, senators and presidents, why isn’t it good enough for the public?

This man would have loved for his father to have the same health care that Dick Cheney had.

Last November my father died because he had been denied needed surgery to replace a failing pacemaker (actually, an experimental ICD) for the previous several years. Every time I see these faux tea-party dicks on TV shouting down people at a town hall meeting it makes me so insanely stabby.

…My father had the same experimental ICD that the former VP (Cheney) had. They were put in within around 6 months of each other and the batteries in both started dying at around the same time. However, with the VP he had government run health-care and, of course, was the friggin’ VP, so they replaced/repaired his at the first sign of trouble (this was that semi-publicized heart surgery he had several years back). But with my father, he was denied and denied again and again until 2 weeks before he died by which point the battery in his ICD was operating at less than 1% capacity. By then the damage had already been done, and it was kind of silly to even approve the surgery as the doctors said he was going to die within a month anyway.

Of course, they didn’t cover the entire surgery, and this ordeal left my mother with millions in medical expense and her with bankruptcy as the only option.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been bought out by insurance companies. Representatives are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars to vote against the public health care option. Meanwhile, people are still dying because health insurance companies are denying treatments.

For-profit health insurance companies are essentially commodifying people’s lives. There is always a financial incentive for the insurer to cut cost. Insurance companies nowadays are willing to steal (from insured people who always paid their premiums) and murder (euphemistically, letting people die) for profit.

When the movie Sicko first came out, there was a controversy about a conservative who ran a web site attacking Michael Moore. The cybercritic’s wife was sick, and he couldn’t afford his medical bills, so Moore donated $12,000 and paid off the guy’s medical bills to illustrate how broken the health care system is. Now, a Tea Party member started a brawl in a town hall meeting, gets injured and is asking for donations for health bills — because he has no insurance.

The irony is lost on these people. The guy who runs the anti-Moore website hadn’t seen Sicko at the time of the interview, but he backs the “doctors and health-insurance companies [Moore] attacks.” The fact that they can’t afford health care themselves is irrelevant to them. They refuse to change their minds out of insistence to some deeply held “truth.”

So many Americans have been expertly whipped into a rabid, paranoid frenzy, screaming that “insurance reform will kill you.” They storm town hall meetings, they call in to radio shows, and they write angry posts online. They have been stirred up by the media’s outright lies, the same lies that were manufactured and spread by PR firms, the same firms that were paid by the insurance companies.

Insurance companies are criminal organizations. They take your money, and do not deliver on their promises. They deliberately choose to withhold treatment to countless paying customers, and as a result these people die. They are murderers, plain and simple.

The people you think are on your side are actually vampires sucking your blood; the people you think are out to destroy you and America are actually trying to save you — and you’re throwing away the life vest they’ve thrown you because the predators pretending to be your friends told you it’s a bomb.

So tell me, whose stories do you believe?

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