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

February 27th, 2014 11:28 AM

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity

Single Payer health care, SiCKO, Medicare for all, health reform

The dysfunction of the US health care system does more damage than causing the deaths and the bankruptcies forced on the sick and injured who don't have enough coverage or cash to afford life-saving care. The damages extend to robbing millions of people of their personal sense of security and human dignity.

Most of us have no way to predict when an illness and injury will strike, and most of us do not have an infinite stash of cash ready for any health crisis. Even with health insurance, many of us do not have any or adequate sick or personal leave time to allow us paid time off from work. As medical costs mount, work pressures do too. Few bosses or businesses can wait forever for the absent employee to be well enough to return to full duty. It is even worse for those who are trying to attend to someone else who is sick. Missing work and losing pay multiplies the pressures many-fold. And American society is not forgiving about these conditions in our families and our neighborhoods.

With the situation at work tense and personal finances taking a beating, medical bills and costs mount. Co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance and the like grow at the same time other household expenses keep right on coming due -- all while the available funds shrink. It is like being caught in a vice we are unable to control. The pressure grows; the vice tightens. It becomes harder to work to recover when the pressure to make money, to cover bills and not create more debt is looming ever larger. Even friends sometimes urge the sick or their caregivers to be grateful that worse has not happened -- and that is so true. But then hidden deep inside and alone in the pit of the stomach is the worry and the fear about money and bills and work hours and bosses who care little about the recovery of their employees.

The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare didn't fix that. Even the claims that no one will go bankrupt are false and misleading. Of course people will go bankrupt when they get sick or hurt. Money doesn't grow on Obamacare trees, does it? My recent illness has been very costly to my household. Lost wages and increased costs have devoured thousands of dollars in just over two months. And even some people I would expect to be kind about the losses have been almost smugly pleased that they somehow have dodged the bullet my husband and I have faced too many times now.

So, would a reformed health care system help this? Improved and expanded Medicare for all for life? Of course it would. At least a health care system that provided for a single standard of high quality care for all without financial barrier would remove a huge set of worries and financial pressures from millions of people. Until we actually have a society that values its members enough to care for people through their worst difficulties, it seems at least civil and even economically sound to fix the financial dysfunction of the profit-driven, greedy health care system so that health and life are valued first.

Then I can dream of the day when the US joins many other nations on earth in supporting people who are burdened with sickness or injury without judging them and trying to find fault in their infirmity. We will get there some day when we realize it is smarter for all to care for one another. It is smarter fiscally, morally and in every way. Unless, of course, we want to continue allowing the profiteers to convince us otherwise.

_______________________

February 26, 2014 -- Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:

The 2014, to date, U.S. medical-financial-
industrial -complex system dead: 6,888
The 2014, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 110,768

** 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.http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/endorse_right_to_health_care

Follow Donna "American SiCKO" 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

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