In late-August of 2010, my dear first-cousin was diagnosed with inoperable, non-curable, small-cell lung #cancer. He and I were raised like #siblings and cared for one another as brother and sister, a very close-knit family.
My #cousin was an amazing man, husband, and father to twin boys; who were only 14 when he died in September 2017. He died at his home, surrounded by his family and friends…just how he’d wished.
Of course, he only had these wishes after his experiences spending extended periods of time in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. Blood draws, lung scans, injections, medications, #chemotherapy, hospitalizations, emergency room visits from all the awful side-effects of his...
#treatments, and follow-up appointments with a myriad of different health care providers. Who wouldn’t rather be at home!?
I watched him and his family struggle to grapple with their uncertain future. I cried secret tears as they tried to make a lifetime of memories in the short time they had left together on this earth. We fundraised.
We had bake sales, garage sales, craft sales, benefit concerts and a community-wide spaghetti feed to raise awareness and funding for my cousin and his family. This has become commonplace for folks faced with long-term or terminal health issues.
In fact, insurance companies are now suggesting amounts to be fundraised in order to cover #treatmentcosts within their coverage denial letters.
Even though he had always worked full-time and had #medicalbenefits, it was nowhere near enough to even put a dent in the debt they’d accrue trying to save his life. Forget trying to survive normal life, like paying rent, #carinsurance, keeping the kids fed and the lights on.
What difference did it make if he could get his #oxygenconcentrator covered if they didn’t have power in their house to run it? Luckily, that never happened to him and his family…because a community came together to meet their needs.
Not his #medicalcoverage, not his #employer, not his #union. His #community. His #neighbors, #friends, #family, and #strangerswithempathy came together to be sure his family survived.
What’s the one thing that could make the biggest difference in how our society treats cancer? That’s an easy and simple answer: #UniversalHealthCoverage. I would be willing to bet you can’t find a #cancersurvivor that would disagree.
Everyday, families go into crushing debt with the accrual of #medicalexpenses. #ForProfitHealthcare is an absolute disgrace! For-profit healthcare tells society that only those with the most money deserve #lifesavingmedicaltreatment.
For-profit healthcare tells society that only those with the most money deserve lifesaving medical treatment. We, as a #democratic society, have the ability to change that fact through legislation.
Proper and sufficient healthcare is a #humanright. Our ability to receive proper medical care should not hinge on our ability to pay for said medical care. People suffering from illnesses should not have to choose between paying their rent or receiving medical treatment.
The choice between paying the power bill and buying groceries is a false choice, both are necessary to survive in our society. Many other countries have #UniversalHealthCare.
Their citizens do not complain of the issues our citizens assume will be problematic upon implementation of universal healthcare. Citizens of our country deserve to have quality medical care without having to declare bankruptcy in order to receive lifesaving medical treatment.
Imagine a world where those with medical needs can have those needs met without worrying about how they will feed their children later in the month or how they will keep their medical devices running without power.
Imagine how much better our bodies could engage in the healing process without the added financial distress. Picture #families making #memories together during these uncertain and stressful times, rather than wondering where their next rent or mortgage payment will come from.
These are the #falsechoices many individuals and families are confronted with when they are facing chronic or terminal illnesses. Medications and medical treatments should not be out of reach for any citizen in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
When we are facing these circumstances personally, it is easy to see where our society fails itself in passing appropriate legislation to address these matters.
The problem lies in those who are so far removed from the impact of for-profit healthcare that they are not compelled to contact their elected officials and demand they develop and implement a viable and #sustainable universal healthcare plan.
Furthering this issue are the legislators that are clearly in the pocket of large medical and pharmaceutical corporations that pay political lobbies to keep universal healthcare from coming to fruition.
Somehow these corporations can afford to keep paying political lobbies to prevent universal healthcare legislation from coming to the floor of Congress, but they want society to believe they can’t afford to lower the cost of lifesaving medical treatments.
Perhaps the biggest point of irony here is that society continues to pay reprehensible costs for medical treatment, while the big corporations rake in the profit…and then turn around and pay the lobbyists to keep universal healthcare from becoming law.
They know they can get away with this and continue doing so, because they know we will stop at nothing to save our loved ones. We prove that every day while we fundraise to cover the cost of for-profit medical treatments.
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