There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.
This movement is killing people.
Think I'm overstating the fact?
Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.
From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.
My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.
Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.
It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.
EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.
We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.
My story? Let's see...a bunch of years ago I promised a friend that I would seek out some help for my depression other than medication. I haven't done it mostly because I'm afraid of the bills. I've ruined my teeth with too many cough drops during past coughing seasons and need to see a dentist who will I'm sure say that at least half of them need to go but I don't go because in addition to being afraid of the dentist I'm more afraid of the bill at a time when I just can't afford another one. When I was unemployed I adjusted all of my meds and only kept up the ones that I could afford - luckily I had a doctor who made that slightly easier by giving me every sample she had of my meds when I told her it was my last appointment and why.
I live in fear that someday I'm going to lose my access to a company health insurance and have to go individual because I have a friend who was denied the ability to buy it for some of the same pre-existing conditions that I have.
Yes the healthcare bill is not perfect. Some of that imperfection was caused by negotiations with the health insurance industry who insisted they would go out of business if they didn't get those provisions in the deal. But do we really expect to ever see any healthcare reform (let alone a better one) if this one goes away?