Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

December 18th, 2009 2:41 PM

Healthcare Crisis Tears at Fabric of Holiday Traditions

Our elected officials in Washington, DC, are rushing to finish their work and get home for the holidays. Many of the people who elected them aren’t so richly blessed. Millions and millions of Americans do not get the Norman Rockwell holiday scene played out in their lives because millions and millions of people have been left financially and physically broken and battered by the healthcare crisis.

For decades our elected officials have known of our plight. For decades they have shrugged their shoulders, packed their bags for their homes and the holidays, and left the work of fixing this system undone.

Don’t wish us a happy holiday season ladies and gentlemen. Don’t you dare. On my nickel, on my dollar, on the salary and the benefits I provide for you and your family, you will enjoy a measure of wealth I cannot attain. So don’t wish me things that I cannot ever enjoy again.

This year the situation is more troubling by many-fold. My husband received his Social Security year-end statement that said he would not be getting any cost-of-living increase this year on the same day that the major news outlets reported record Wall Street firm earnings and CEO bonuses. You don’t seriously want us to believe you care about our well-being, do you?

When our at-first slow, but then more insistent financial decline began nearly 20 years ago, we saw a gradual but equally troubling decline in the numbers of folks who wanted to spend much time with us. It just simply isn’t much fun to be with a family in decline. Aside from the physical and health woes, it’s a real downer to watch folks getter poorer and poorer and losing their worldly goods and security.

It’s uncomfortable to see disconnect notices from utility companies, collection letters and final notice billings from doctors and hospitals. It’s much nicer to see Christmas cards and gift cards and packages under the tree.

But for millions of people in this country, the holidays are not the time of joy depicted so openly on commercial television or in advertising everywhere you look. For millions of us, the holidays are reminders that we live in a selfish and cruel society where survival of the fittest is worshiped by the ruling class – and that ruling class includes those in our elected government bodies who relied on us for their means to riches and the security we cannot embrace for ourselves.

For millions of us, the holidays mean our grown children will go where the money and the stability are and they will take the grandchildren there for the picture-perfect events. Spending time with the grandparents in the struggle for healthcare justice is not a fun or inviting way to welcome Joyeux Noel.

Robbed of security, robbed of our dignity, still struggling for healthcare justice and broke beyond what we ever would have dreamed, millions of Americans have lost the ability to recreate the holidays we knew as children because we were unlucky enough to get sick while “insured.”

And this Congress and this President really do not care if millions more of us suffer the same fate. They want to hurry the work of reform – insurance mandates – so that they can enjoy the holidays we have afforded them. They do not care that we suffer – they care that they stay in power and claim some hollow victory while we wait for the day that never comes to claim our share of the dream. I sometimes hate the holidays now. I hate the arrogance of those who think it is their hard work – and somehow my lack thereof – that makes them more worthy.

But most of all, I wanted this Congress and this President to care and to work hard to make sure my future offered dignity and honor for the struggle of millions who cannot achieve what they have been freely given from my labors. My work gave you comfort. My work gave you holidays. And all you can give me is a lukewarm nod to some health reform measure that makes you richer and broadens the control of health insurance giants over my life? Sad.

I wanted and still want healthcare for all – me, you, my neighbors, my friends. All. Everybody in, nobody out.

And I am not excluding the Republicans from blame here. Quite the contrary. They have lied to the American people and said they care about those on Medicare. What they really care about is the votes of those on Medicare. Beyond that they hate Medicare as one of those evil “government run” healthcare plans they so abhor. Make no mistake about it, when it was time to hear a Medicare for all type reform, Republicans and most Democrats wanted nothing more to do with it. Republicans didn’t care if the entire Medicare program was gutted so long as they used the perceived “cuts” to the program as sound bite fodder.

This healthcare reform effort in the U.S. Congress has been a disgusting display of the rich protecting the interests of the rich. And all at my expense, quite literally.

What I know for certain is that this Christmas, my family won’t come where I am. I am a nomad created by the healthcare crisis. I am not a mom or a grand mom who has a place and a comfortable station in life to offer. So, the kids and the grands go where they can be wrapped in a real American-style holiday. And I lost that a long time ago when the health insurance crisis and the health insurance industry destroyed any sense of stability I could offer. I will work hard the rest of my life and under whatever mess of a reform plan they pass this time around just to stay alive.

I will work to just stay afloat and to buy the insurance I will be forced to purchase when I would far rather pay taxes for the healthcare I need under a real reform plan.

And happy holidays to all of my elected officials. I truly hope you never know what I know this Christmas.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles