In 1981 when my mom got stage 4 breast cancer I remember going with her to the hospital for her to get chemo. I was 11 years old. Each time we went the receptionist made sure to tell my mom she owed money on her bill. I remember the receptionist being angry but most of all I will never forget how upset Momma was as the receptionist embarrassed her (as there was a full waiting room). My mom was the soul provider of my family. She worked 50 plus hours a week and yet never had enough money to have health insurance. All my mom wanted was to have the chance to live and to be there for her children. After her chemo treatments Momma would have to pull off the road to throw up at least twice before making it home. She told me they had medicines to help her but she couldn’t afford to pay for them. I cannot tell you how she suffered. She was NEVER wanting to steal or take anything from anyone. She was only fighting for her life. When her cancer returned in 1985 her doctor wanted her to do radiation and chemo. Because she had a preexisting condition (having already had cancer), no insurance would take her. When my mom died in 1986 after months of being in excruciating pain, she owed well over $200,000. While she could she paid $200 a month towards her bill but it never made a dent compared to the bills she was accruing. The amount she owed was huge in 1986 and I know there were and are many others like her. That’s a hell of a lot of money that we as taxpayers end up paying (EVEN BEFORE THE OBAMA-CARE).
I feel VERY strongly as an American to make sure each of us has health insurance because NO child should ever see their loved one suffer because they can’t afford the medical care. The billions of dollars of unpaid bills that already exists is a huge reason many of us are forced to pay more (and more than many of us can afford that’s for sure).
Obama’s healthcare plan will actually reduce the amount of unpaid bills which will ultimately reduce the amount we are ALL paying. If we are not helping our fellow Americans get healthcare whether we like it or not, the amount of unpaid bills will continue to increase which will affect us all anyway.
Bottom line for me is that everyone deserves quality healthcare. No one should have to suffer because they can’t afford the medicines nor should they have to choose death because they can’t afford the treatment. I feel strongly that my mom would be here today if she had had that opportunity of good healthcare. She would have been here to see me graduate high school, get my first A on my first term paper in college, celebrate many birthdays, walk me down the aisle and to have met her grandson.
Making sure all Americans have health insurance is a personal thing to me. Each and every life that exists is special. I would never play G-d and suggest that if one has no money then one deserves their fate of possible death. I will never succumb to the ideology that it is those with money who deserve to not suffer. Sometimes we are unlucky. My mother was unlucky but she deserved to be here today.
It’s amazing how so many religious groups throw around the saying, “Love they neighbor.” So folks, does that mean “Love they neighbor” only when you walk by them in the street or when you see them in the grocery store? How about when it means they neighbor has to choose feeding their family or taking care of a chronic health problem? Oh yeah in that case it’s every man for himself. I get it. I can love they neighbor but don’t have to help them. I often hear, “I can love my neighbor but it’s not my fault someone else can’t have the luxuries I have. So, why is it my concern?”
Well, I have one word for that kind of philosophy, people and that’s “BULLSHIT!” That is far from “loving they neighbor.”
There’s a Jewish quote that says, “When a man appears before the Throne of Judgment, the first question he will be asked is not ‘have you believed in God’ or ‘have you prayed and observed the ritual?’, but ‘have you dealt honorably with your fellow man?.”
I feel strongly that turning a blind eye to those who don’t have healthcare does not make me honorable by any means. Loving they neighbor isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes a little something from us. But, it’s the right thing to do and it’s what I call being a mensch.