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

January 18th, 2011 5:47 PM

What Do We Owe Tracy Pierce?

Four years ago, Tracy Dion Pierce, Sr., 37, died because we allowed him to. We stood collectively by while his insurance company delivered the news for us: no payment for bone marrow transplant. Tracy died at home in Mission, Kansas, with his beautiful wife Julie and his loving son Tracy, Jr., at his side. We let it happen.

We saw their story in SiCKO, but since then we’ve not put a halt to the carnage and the suffering. We’ve hedged our healthcare reform argument bets, and we’ve talked about pushing the agenda forward, but we’ve still allowed many, many Tracy’s to die.

Oh, scream and holler about how it was the evil insurance company or the system over which we have no direct control, but rest – or don’t rest – assured tonight that Tracy died at our hands, in our ignorant grasp of decency and without any substantial outcry.

Tonight his widow and his son still grieve and still cling to some notion that collectively we’ll care enough to rise up and stop this travesty from unfolding for another American family. Oh, the leaders of some movement will wage a comment or two or three, and they’ll even stand guard and demand justice for all activists, but not one of us are at a hospital tonight with another of the 123 American families saying an unnecessary goodbye to a loved one who is dying because we could not and did not fix the system and demand healthcare as a human right in this nation.

Of the stories I have watched more than 65 times as I have seen SiCKO with groups across the country, Julie’s and Tracy’s haunts me like no other. A young and vibrant family – living in the middle of America and doing all that we ask them to do to achieve the American dream – is left alone and without recourse as Tracy suffers and then dies.

Julie keeps on keeping on. She raises the beautiful son you see in my video clip. She stays a loyal and true friend to others who suffer. She hopes, by the God she still believes in, she still hopes of a better world for her son and a resting place next to her beautiful Tracy when her time on this earth comes to an end.

Somehow I wish there was a burial ground for those of us who were in SiCKO so that when our time comes to leave this earth, we can at least rest in the company of those who knew what it was like to tell our horrific stories only because it was all we had left to do. We had no way to recapture our own dreams and our hope and drive. We lost what mattered to us. We hoped for better and reached out in SiCKO. We didn’t get paid because that’s not what being in a documentary is all about and it isn’t what we wanted, and we didn’t get rich or famous or become more than what we had been in our pre-SiCKO lives.

We prayed together that the time burned on that film and the stories we shared would somehow move our nation to a place where healthcare as a human right was a better course of action and fewer families would suffer when help was so readily available. Instead, we’re listening to the debate rage on as more Tracy’s die and more Julie’s grieve and more SiCKO’s gather. That isn’t why we offered up our stories.

Rest in peace, dear Tracy. We did not know you except through Julie and through Tracy, Jr., and through SiCKO. Julie is beautiful as always – and still in love with you as she always was and ever will be. Tracy, Jr., is a wonderful young man with an easy smile and a marvelous hug for all who need it. You would be so proud of them – they reflect all that you would have reflected through them.

We fight on. We dream on. We care on. Until the day when we rest with you and share that each of us did all that we could to honor your sacrifice for SiCKO and for millions of people to open their hearts and minds to what should be our reality – healthcare as a basic human right in America in 2011 – until that day we bid you peace. We labor on.

You must log in to comment.

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

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

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

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles