Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's not often that I actively post anything that smacks of politics or social commentary. Most times my instinct says there are enough people speaking out on these things without me adding my two cents worth. Today is different.
While the challenge of the health care debate rages on, I am appalled by our lack of compassion and our inability to care for "the least of these". I have a friend whose husband is diabetic. He lost his job last year and for some reason, cannot get medical assistance, even though the cost of his supplies is devastating to their extremely limited budget. They are not slothful drains on society. They are an intact family consisting of mom, dad and two children. Yet, they are without health care resources.
Yesterday, I got am email update from a friend whose sister, a 40ish RN has lupus and is being told by her docs that she shouldn't plan to go back to work. She is basically broke, and broken. She is attempting to get medical assistance, as well as SSDI, but her plight is compounded by her physical, mental and emotional pain. It would be hard enough to deal with lupus, without the additional burden of trying to find your way through the maze of public assistance interviews and requirements. This is some of what she wrote:
"Now, less than $250 in my bank account, what SSI needed.
Now, No healthcare coverage for 2-3 weeks as we wait for the process to switch to medical assist. It means, obviously, I see no docs nor can i afford meds.
Now I wait a week for food stamps, I'll get $180/month to use on non taxable food. Plus there's food shelters/dropoffs, whatever.
I don't know if/when I'll get some help with home heat. I applied.
They'll give me at some point $200 a month to live on.
(that won't include the med. assist when I get (WHAT I NEED THE MOST)...."
When I finished reading her update, I cried. This is a young woman who has been through challenges like many of us. She has battled cancer in her 20s. She adopted and and spent a small fortune on a shelter dog whom she fell in love with, who turned out to have numerous health & genetic issues. She is everywoman. Now, she is facing a health matter that would be hard enough without all these "how do I get care, now" questions.
These are just two examples of why we need universal health care.

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