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      Dealing with hospitalizations and terminal illness is tough enough without having to worry about insurance. CreditCreditKevin D. Liles for The New York Times
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      One of the most glaring issues/problems/concerns for many of us here in the United states, is our lack of affordable health care for everyone. Every child, every young or old person, every human in the United States should be able to access health care without going bankrupt to do so.

      The majority of us see heath care as a right, one that all other developed nations agree everyone deserves, so they are providing it; while our Republican legislators prefer to support the insurance companies, the wealthy, and THEMSELVES - since they will always be able to get the health care that they need.

      We hear excuses galore. "Our health care wouldn't be as good; or we might have to wait for procedures that are not life threatening; or taxes would be too high, etc;" but what we are constantly bombarded with is that we can't afford it - that there isn't money to pay for it, even though many leading economists have shown us that we could actually SAVE money using such plans as Medicare for All or other plans that provide needed care for everyone, no matter their status or income level.

      Most Americans want universal coverage - and it is time we did everything we can to encourage our legislators to make this issue a top priority.

      The following edited opinion is from one of my Senators, and I believe she will be one of the ones we can count on to keep this issue before the Congress front and center until we get the health care plan that every one of us has a right to have.

      .

      WHAT MY MOTHER'S DEATH TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AMERICA NEEDS
      Everyone Gets Sick. And We deserve Better
      .

      By Kamala D. Harris

      Ms. Harris is a Democratic senator from California.

      Dec. 29, 2018

      In 2008, our mother asked my sister, Maya, and me to meet her for lunch. When we arrived, our mother didn’t seem like herself. We wondered what was going on. Then she took a deep breath and reached out to us both across the table.

      “I’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer,” she told us.

      I know that many can relate to the emotions I felt in that moment. Even just reflecting back on it now fills me with dread. It was one of the worst days of my life.

      The hard truth is that every one of us will go through an experience like that sooner or later, whether it is coming to terms with a loved one’s terminal illness or experiencing our own. My mother was a breast cancer researcher. She understood, from a career of looking at cancer cells under a microscope, that no matter who we are or where we are from, our bodies are essentially the same. They work the same way — and they break down the same way, too.

      I remember thanking God she had Medicare. I am so grateful my mother had Medicare, and I will fight for it to be guaranteed to all. There should be nothing partisan about wanting a system where health coverage and care are based not on how much money you have or where you live. We need a system with the goal of good outcomes rather than the goal of high profits. It would save countless lives, and according to recent studies, could trim as much as $5 trillion in health care costs over 10 years.

      .

      Image result for pictures of Medicare

      .

      I believe that health care should be a right, but the reality is that it is still a privilege in this country. We need that to change. When someone gets sick, there is already so much else to deal with: the physical pain for the patient, the emotional pain for the family. There is often a sense of desperation — of helplessness — as we grapple with the fear of the unknown. Medical procedures already have risks. Prescription drugs already have side effects. Financial anxiety should not be one of them.

      Logistics, alone, can be overwhelming. I remember that as my mother’s condition worsened, she needed more care than we could provide. I wanted to hire a home health care aide for her. But my mother didn’t want help.

      “I’m fine. I don’t need anybody,” she would say, even though she could barely get out of bed. There was a fight to be had, but I didn’t want to have it. Her body was giving out. The medication was making it difficult for her to function, to be herself. I didn’t want to take her dignity away.

      So, we muddled through. I cooked elaborate meals for her, filling the house with the smells of childhood, which reminded us both of happier times. When I wasn’t at the office, I was most often with her, telling stories, holding hands, helping her through the misery of chemotherapy. I brought her hats after she lost her hair, and soft clothes to make her as comfortable as I could.

      The doctor asked me if I had heard of “anticipatory grief.” I hadn’t, but the term made perfect sense. So much of me was in denial. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that I was going to have to say goodbye. But underneath it, I was aware. And I had started grieving for my mother already.

      She ended up in the hospital not long after that. That was when I started to see another change. For as long as I could remember, my mother loved to watch the news and read the newspaper. When Maya and I were kids, she’d insist we sit down in front of Walter Cronkite each night before dinner. But suddenly, she had no interest. Her mighty brain decided it had had enough.

      My mother died on Feb. 11, 2009, two months after her 70th birthday. One of the last questions she asked the hospice nurse was, “Are my daughters going to be O.K.?” She was focused on being our mother until the very end.

      And though I miss her every day, I carry her with me wherever I go. I think of the battles she fought, the values she taught me, her commitment to improve health care for us all. There is no title or honor on earth I’ll treasure more than to say I am Shyamala Gopalan Harris’s daughter. As I continue the battle for a better health care system, I do so in her name.

      Kamala D. Harris is a Democratic senator from California and the author of the forthcoming book “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” from which this essay is adapted.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/opinion/sunday/...

      I have edited this essay for length, but the entire adapted essay can be read by clicking the link above.

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          opie
          5 months ago

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          The US could easily afford a better healthcare system. Going to single-payer would save so much in pharmaceuticals that there would be huge gains elsewhere with no extra cost. Then they could even throw in some more money. But this won't happen.

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              opie
              5 months ago

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              Another problem in the fight for health care is the fact that even when you have what should be decent insurance you have to fight to use it. We pay through the nose so we are covered, and then they deny surgery that is needed! "It's not a problem, it's just her knee, she has another one." The sad truth is, my other knee is almost as bad.

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                  opie
                  5 months ago

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                  The real question you are asking is, "is it ok to use the government to steal from everyone else to pay for a program that makes me feel better?" To say you have a right to a service someone else provides is to say you have the right to enslave them and take their labor. I get you want everyone to have healthcare. It is noble. Go ahead and do it. YOU do it. Stop using the government to steal from your neighbor who doesn't want to pay for things other people should provide for themselves.

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                      Tom Lowe
                      5 months ago

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                      If the Social Security portion of FICA is raise from the maximum salary 0f $128,700 to about $170,000 or higher it could possibly pay for medicare for all US Citizens. Medical care for non-US Citizens will be only emergency care only. Congress and the FDA MUST reduce the present cost of drugs, such as what the VA is paying or lower. There are no reasons that many prescription drugs are much cheaper in Mexico and Greece, and I heard also in Canada. Medical facilities will have to stop over charging for treatments and drugs not received. If other countries can give its citizens reasonable low cost healthcare and low cost drugs, then the US should also, IT IS A RIGHT. :-) No US citizens should die from needed healthcare and drugs that would cure their medical problems. It is a sad fact that the USA ranks 37 in the world of healthcare. Another Idea is give US Citizens the same access to healthcare and prescriptions drugs as the 535 representatives in Washington receives and their families are receiving.

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                              Tom Lowe
                              5 months ago

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                              Wow !

                              Heard this so many times before ....

                              You'll come running when you or a loved one needs help ....

                              Comments like this have a tendency to bite those who say it in the butt ....

                              Good luck !

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                                  80
                                      Tom Lowe
                                      5 months ago

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                                      False dichotomy.

                                      We already have universal healthcare in the US. It’s just far more inefficient, dangerous and costly in this country than in others.

                                      Your story about everyone either providing for themselves or simply doing without is pure fiction. This fiction is not one of the choices we have in real life.

                                      If your deadbeat neighbor is too cheap to buy healthcare, he will still get hypertension, just like his deadbeat Canadian cousin.

                                      The difference? The Canadian will “steal” the money for a $10-a-month blood pressure pill from his neighbors, and you’ll be out your share of $120 a year. Boo hoo.

                                      Your American neighbor, on the other hand, will wait till his untreated high blood pressure results in kidney failure. Or a heart attack. Or brain hemorrhage.

                                      Then an ambulance will bring him to my ER, where I will be required by law to treat him. $60,000 later, as also required by law, some other doc will admit him to the ICU. $400,000 later, he’ll go to a general hospital room, and later to a rehab facility.

                                      To the tune of about $800 K.

                                      And I don’t want to scare you, but guess who’s gonna end up footing that bill?

                                      Rhymes with Boo!

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                                          60
                                              Tom Lowe
                                              5 months ago

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                                              No Tom. I understand that you are having fun telling people what they mean and not listening to what they actually say, - that is the way of the Narcissist, and we have become very accustomed to the Narc's language since Trump was foisted on us, but I am not asking a question at all.

                                              I am stating emphatically that the right of the American people is to have adequate healthcare, no matter their age, status, income level, religion, skin color, gender, or political party. I am saying that all American citizens deserve health care just like all other developed nations provide for their citizens.

                                              So take your Trump cult attitude and lily white behind and slither away.

                                              Oh - and here's the accomplishment of YOUR guy! (even Breitbart printed it up.)

                                              Wall Street Ends Its Worst Year Since The 2008 Financial Crisis

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                                                  opie
                                                  5 months ago

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                                                  If the solution were as glaringly simple as most of the people here think this issue would have been resolved decades ago. With the exception of Germany universal healthcare was never the original model for tackling this issue, most countries adapted to it only after a major crisis most notable world wars 1 and 2. We on the other hand have never faced a complete breakdown of our systems.

                                                  My chief complaint about the ACA was that while adding millions to insurance it did not add one doctor and probably dissuaded some from entering the medical profession

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                                                      Donald Locke
                                                      5 months ago

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                                                      Social Security and Medicare , both , aren't what they started out as ...

                                                      There must be a starting point ...

                                                      The ACA could be that starting point ...

                                                      Remember when the former president said , quite clearly , " Change the name to Trump care , I don't care , just change it for the better " ...

                                                      That couldn't be done ...

                                                      Because of the group in power ...

                                                      Sad ...

                                                      J . A . B . I .

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                                                          Donald Locke
                                                          5 months ago

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                                                          The ACA was not perfect from the first day the bill was passed. However BOTH the Democrats did not go back and make improvements to it, and the Republicans tried to kill it. Black President Obama was the first President to try to give healthcare to all Americans. The problems were that the State Insurance Commissioners, the Medical hospitals and the greedy drug companies wanted to keep on receiving $billions. The USA is the richest nation in the world and rank 37th in providing reasonable healthcare to all of its American Citizens. My vehicle insurance is valid in all states, but my health insurance is not. The only problem about the US Government getting into the insurance business is that they are the number on inefficient agency in the US. I've worked four agencies. They'll hire the already rich CEO's of Insurances and Medical facilities (their buddies) to set up a low cost healthcare plan for the US Citizens. Well you know the rest of the story. Good day.

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                                                                  Donald Locke
                                                                  5 months ago

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                                                                  No insurance measure adds doctors directly.

                                                                  Yes, the ACA probably dissuaded some from entering the profession. I know a couple.

                                                                  And I’m also personally acquainted with many who were persuaded by it.

                                                                  Given the age group we’re talking about, and given the opinions about healthcare of the majority in that age group, I’ll let you guess whether the dissuaded or the persuaded are more numerous.

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                                                                          Donald Locke
                                                                          5 months ago

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                                                                          Universal health care is the only system that makes economic and moral sense. The only thing the ACA did was make insurance available to most people who could not afford to buy insurance in the private market, an eliminate the ban on pre-existing conditions. For the majority of Americans who were covered by their employers, the ACA had little to no effect on them, except to keep premiums as high as possible. The ACA did not address the cost of premiums for most people.

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                                                                                  Donald Locke
                                                                                  5 months ago

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                                                                                  Sorry - you have no clue as to what "most people here think."

                                                                                  What I think, is that all other developed nations managed to work through whatever difficulties they encountered in order to fund universal health care for their constituents, and I believe the USA's government is just as capable as any of those other nations.

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