Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two Words: Life Panels

In case you missed it, Keith Olbermann gave a gut wrenching Special Comment tonight on Countdown. I quite literally watched with tears streaming down my face, as I thought about what we went through with Nana and what Keith is going through with his own father, and they have/had outstanding insurance. It pains me to think about all the people in our country who have no insurance because they have "pre-existing conditions" or simply can't afford to pay the exorbitant premiums. When people go to bed every night praying no one gets sick because they can't afford medical care, something is fundamentally wrong with our country.

In the last few weeks, former President Clinton, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Senator Bob Dole were each admitted to the hospital for treatable (and relatively minor in the grand scheme of things) problems. As former elected officials, they have the best of the best insurance and I'm sure they didn't even blink about whether or not they should seek treatment. 43 million people in our country could not have gone to the doctor for those ailments because they have no insurance. Millions more would have worried what the trip to the hospital would do to their insurance and would have skipped it.

It is reprehensible that we treat quality health care as a privilege and not as a right. If you ask me, and since you're reading Little Merry Sunshine, I'm assuming you are, I believe it falls under that pesky "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" thing we pride ourselves on, but that's just my opinion.

A blogger buddy of mine told me a story yesterday about her sister's sister-in-law who was just diagnosed with a very advanced stage of cancer. They could have caught it sooner, but she and her family didn't have insurance, and when she felt something wrong, she didn't say anything. At this point, they don't think there's anything that can be done for her because the cancer is too advanced. As a result, her young children will probably lose their mother way too soon. Oh, for the record, her husband works in construction. They just couldn't afford insurance.

Demand that our elected officials do the right thing. We not only need health care reform and lower rates, but it simply time provide universal health care for all.

Enjoy Keith.

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Video and title from The Political Carnival.


  1. Had a similar experience with my mom. She was in so much pain in the last couple of days, the last thing she said to my dad was "please help me." The last thing she said to me was in answer to my question where does it hurt. She answered "everywhere". One problem we realized when it was too late to fix, was that she should never have been in treatment. The oncologist recomended chemo and radiation and never recommended doing less, never gave choices and never described the potential side effects very well and never came down to the reality that the chances of the chemo and radiation helping over any significant time period were slim. In hindsight, the 2 or 3 days of improvement she got from the treatment was no match for the side effects of the treatment. She'd have been much better off had she done nothing when diagnosed. Oh, and so far the cost has been well into the high 6 figures. Luckily, she was on Medicare, but the bottom line is that Medicare just paid in the high 6 figures to put my mom in complete misery and die anyway.

  2. You and your mom were on my mind as I watched Keith, as well. I have truly loved your posts about Hospice.

    I hate to say it, but my vet gives me more info on options, available treatments, and pros/cons of everything when I have an issue with Betsey or Ross than we ever got from my Nana's doctors.


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