admittedly this is anecdotal but the story still speaks to a larger issue. having affordable access to health care is an essential part of the social contract. being uninsured and lacking access to health care puts patients at risk for early death and is one of the single greatest causes of personal bankruptcy in the us. both of these eventualities are quite likely to play out in this woman's life.
from daily kos: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/14/1438/61856
a woman came to the emergency room with advanced cancer. against the advice of several doctors, she decided to delay treatment until she was sure she had been accepted by medicaid.
i must tell you from my vantage point, we have evolved into a society where there are tiers
one tier for those who are barely hanging on.
another tier for those who have slipped through the thoroughly destroyed safety net.
and a tier, for very fortunate people like me. people who can afford to patch together a life and pay for healthcare when the insurance company refuses to honor the social contract.
what you're going to read is about honoring the social contract.
a woman, let's call her inez, came to the emergency room last week. she was complaining of various symptoms (which i'll spare you) but they weren't good.
turned out she had advanced cervical cancer. naturally, it was recommended that she begin treatment immediately. chemo, radiation, surgery. she was an uninsured amercan. perhaps had she been insured, she would not have waited until her symptoms became acute to seek treatment. but she did wait, fearing financial ruin--not for herself, but for her family.
she was frightened, proud and tentative. finally, as she spoke, all the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. she was uninsured. she had applied or was in the process of applying for medicaid but was still not approved.
her doctor told me she said over and over, "i can't leave my family with a mountain of bills."
i am worried about inez because he said she was resolute. she absolutely would not think of beginning treatment until her medicaid application was approved. that begs the question, will
it be approved? and what will happen to her if it isn't approved. i. don't. know.
most tragic, she was certain that her country would come through for her. again, her doctor related to me what she said. "how can they not
accept me?" "i am sick, but i am an american citizen."
i'll tell you why they may not accept you, inez. because in the united states of america, health care is only a right if you are rich, powerful or an elected official.
Jan 15, '07
Single Payer will help people get to a living wage!
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Jan 15, '07