I am very thankful that my wife and I have good medical insurance coverage. Without it, I would live in fear like millions of Americans.
This is a reality that we must face – we clearly have a crisis in this country when it comes to medical costs. They are bankrupting people across the country and tearing families apart.
Recently, it was reported in the Washington Post that a Washington state couple apparently died by murder-suicide and left several notes saying they could not afford treatment for the wife’s severe medical issues.
They killed themselves because they couldn’t afford her treatment. Let that sink in. Should anyone in America die because they can’t afford health care?
This makes me sad, yes. But it also makes me angry.
While many people love to rant about Mexico, many of your fellow citizens spend the winter in Arizona and Texas and California going into Mexico to buy their prescription drugs. Why? They are a fragment of the cost. The same medicine that costs $80 per bottle in the U.S. might cost $6 in Mexico.
And people also cross the border to see medical doctors and dentists too. Many of them were trained in this country. I personally know many people who only get medical services in Mexico and rave about the treatment.
Again, the reason is cost. It is cheaper to go into a foreign country and get medical services without insurance that to get them in this country even with insurance.
Is that something we should be proud of?
Another fairly recent phenomenon is the Facebook fundraiser. We have all seen them – people raising money to help cover the cost of their care, often for treatment of diseases like cancer. They usually apologize for asking, but sincerely need the help.
I have fairly young friends who have worked hard their entire lives, and now have to ask for money just to keep a little hope alive.
Again, this makes me feel many things. That anyone should have to seek out this kind of help makes me sad. That they should feel humiliated in asking for help to, oftentimes, save their lives, makes me angry.
What is our problem?
We must do something about this. What is the answer? I honestly don’t know. But the more we simply ignore it, the worse it gets. Like climate change.
I don’t care who has the best plan, let’s just start moving on this. Hate Obamacare? Fine, replace it with something better. Don’t like so-called Medicare for All? Great, come up with a plan that helps people and makes you feel better about your politics.
Because, sadly, this is about politics. It should be about the health of our citizens, but instead it is about talking points. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was originally a Republican idea, and it has saved untold lives. Now, some people act like it is the single worst piece of legislation in the history of the country.
I don’t care who has the idea, just start talking about this and fixing it.
When people decide the best option when it comes to health care is to simply die because they can’t afford it, something is horribly wrong. When we let petty politics literally dictate life and death, we should feel shame.
We are better than that, aren’t we?