Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm giving you all a break from my vacation pictures. I can't just sing "la la la everything is bright and shiny " today.

I'm just not feeling it.
I'm concerned.
I'm frustrated.
I feel saddened and helpless.
I'm pissed.

The state of this country's health care is not just a cauldron of political spit and the usual blather.
It's a sin, a shame, a pox on the asses of the donkeys and elephants alike.
Oh, I's all about the bottom line. Democracy being used as an excuse for runaway capitalism. Profits are privatized. The losses, well..they're ours.
Today, I'm tired of the losses. The loss of lives. Real lives. Real people that did what they were supposed to do. They worked, payed their taxes, kept insurance, and then faced what should not be an insurmountable hurdle.

A friend of mine called me this morning. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She worked as a manager of a large chain store for many years. She had one surgery (which although major was treated as an outpatient and sent home the same day). Then another surgery to get what they missed the first time around. (ooops) Then chemo and radiation while out on term disability. Before her treatments were completed and she got a free and clear to return to work from her doctor, she had to return to work for at least 32 hours a week to continue to receive her health care benefits so that she could continue to have treatments and medical care.
But, I'm jumping ahead. While out on disability and receiving only a percent of her usual wages she was unable to pay her utilities and rent. All calls for assistance to the usual walk-for-this-or-that charities went unanswered. They had no funds to disperse for anyone in need. She lost her apartment, has no car, and the copays she owed the surgeon's and various doctors and labs went to collections too. She moved in with her elderly mother who barely manages on her social security. Now she walks to her job that she must keep whether she is up to it or not for her insurance.
The story isn't over....
Another lump. She was told she needs to go out of town for special testing, and see the surgeon again. She has no car. She has no sick time. She owes the surgeon from the previous surgeries.
She's tired. She feels defeated. She can keep walking to work, to keep her insurance and her paycheck until she can't and the cancer gives her fewer options than she already has.
Then there's me on the other end of the phone. What comfort can I offer? I can taxi her to appointments. Appointments that she sees no reason to keep and canceled.
She and I had a mutual friend that passed away several years ago from the same disease. I remember us both tending to her through her long ordeal. Now it seems like yesterday.

I urge you to look at this health care issue from a more personal perspective. Whether it is from a perspective of someone with a chronic condition like MS or someone fighting a diagnosis of cancer. Whatever your personal political leanings, and whatever your current health, this story could be yours, or your son's or daughter's.

Read what the candidates have to say on the issues
. Get out and VOTE. Demand CHANGE.



There is no "care" in is broken. And I am at a loss for words to say to comfort YOU. There are those who still pretend NOT to understand while lining their pockets with money stolen from the poor, the vulnerable, and the sick.

Linda D. in Seattle