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

June 6th, 2013 5:43 PM

How Many Precious Gifts, Like Andrea Bocelli's, Murdered for Health Care Profits in America?

Andrea Bocelli, Medicare for all, donna smith, single payer, health system dysfunction

Last evening, I was lucky enough to attend the best concert I have ever seen or heard.  Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli was in Denver for one of his very few North American stops on this tour, and we got our tickets because someone else couldn't go and offered the seats for a reduced rate.  Thank goodness that was before the Aetna folks decided to throw me under the bus by refusing to reinstate my health insurance or we would never have even spent the relatively small amount we did to attend. 

My wonderful son, Daniel, who is an amazing vocalist in his own right and who teaches music in the public schools, pushed us to go when I balked.  He reminded me that life is short and that, "This is your guy, Mom, you have to go. You taught me that."  So, in celebration our 37th wedding anniversary, Larry and I went to see Andrea Bocellii.

It will go down as one of the nights and one of the events that changed my life.  As I listened to him, the world fell away.  The worry about Aetna.  The worry about bankruptcy and about never again having our own home.  The worry about working hard enough to help make the change that will heal our broken health care system.  All I felt was intense joy and intense peace.  Can peace and joy be intense?  Oh, yes.  I think both can be so.

And Bocelli's voice is such an incredible mix on training and emotion that it transports listeners and opens hearts.  Blind since an accident in his adolescence, after being partially blind since birth, Bocelli's musical performance transported me and tens of thousands of others at the concert.

Toward the end of the concert, I began to cry, almost uncontrollably, as something deep inside of me wondered how the loss of one gift in life may sometimes enhance the experience and use of other gifts.  And I wondered about the many potential Andrea Bocelli's and other gifted souls who might be among the 123 health care dead in America today or the many thousands who die needlessly each year. My tears just kept falling as the music filled the arena.  After each of four encores, I said aloud over and over again while crying, "Please, keep singing, please sing."  It felt almost as if I let go of the power and joy of those moments and he appreciation of the music, I might never hear anything so wonderful again -- and the dead, the dead might still be dying.  Please sing, please keep singing.

Then, the lights came on, and he was gone.  The concert was over.  I thought back to a lecture I heard once by John Bradshaw, an educator/counselor who did a great deal of work surrounding dysfunctional families, who once pondered, "How many Mozart's murdered?"  And throughout my wonderful night of music, there were no doubt some wonderful people in America who died because they lacked the financial ability to get care.  Would they have become Mozart or Bocelli?  Perhaps not.  But we will never know that.  The U.S. health care system discarded them before we could fully answer that question.

It hurts so much to think about what we throw away while pursuing the almighty dollar in our dysfunctional, profit-first health care system in America.  We protect profits, and we discard life.  And so long as I have any gifts left to give in terms of spreading the word about what we can do to fix this, I will keep trying.  An improved, expanded Medicare for all for life system wouldn't guarantee America would produce a voice or a talent like Bocelli's, but at least we wouldn't kill our chances to more fully develop our potential by being so devoted to our greed and our ignorance.

Today's update:

2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-industrial -complex system dead: 19,198

The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 308,578

** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-related bankruptcies from that number.

Find Donna Smith's blog at: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

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

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

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 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