Making America Sick Again? But It’s National Nurses Week!

Making America Sick Again? But It's National Nurses Week!

MASA: Making America Sick Again or as one Congressman from Idaho argued: “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” Well, as a good RN would, let me EXAMINE THAT.

CAN A STORY HAVE A HAPPY ENDING? SOMETIMES… 

Once upon a time there was a kind leader who examined the number of people in his country who were sick with chronic illnesses or whose children had birth defects or whose parents could no longer work and pay the bills because of health concerns. And he worked and read, consulted and studied and called in the experts to fix the problem. And with their help, he did. Healthcare became a thing. People who could never afford to see a doctor on a regular basis were now able to. It was amazing. It was called the Affordable Care Act. 

Because consider: a friend of mine who does landscape work for a living had what is termed catastrophic insurance. It meant that before his policy paid anything on a claim, he had to pay 10,000 dollars out of pocket.

Another kind of insurance that is not user friendly involved limited networks. If you happened to be traveling and became ill or were injured, there was no guarantee you would be near a hospital or med center that accepted your insurance. Other types of health insurance products that did not qualify as major medical health insurance include: Short-Term Health Insurance and Gap Insurance (Accident, Critical Illness, Telemedicine, etc).

My friend who is a landscaper was thrilled when he could get The ACA, the Affordable Care ACT. Bye, bye catastrophic insurance.

NOW THE UPDATE ON THAT AMAZING STORY

But then a group of mostly men looked around and decided to change things. They did not take their time, they threw something together and then voted YES on it. They were all so happy to be taking the ACA away from my landscape worker friend and millions of others.

And when some of the people who also loved the ACA argued, ONE MAN IN PARTICULAR stood up and said: NO ONE DIES BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE HEALTHCARE. No one dies. No one dies. (This is the guy I mentioned above, the one from Idaho. But I won’t hold that against Idaho. They’ll get rid of him. As they say, he’s toast.) Sorry, as a nurse I should not sound mean. But I am angry.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY

I don’t know what kind of life this Idaho guy lives or who he knows and how his heart beats when he’s by himself in the dark. But hasn’t every one of us at some time in our lives said: LIFE IS GOOD IF YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH.

Here are some voices from friends and family:

  • I had breast cancer and I had to have surgery and chemotherapy and radiation and now I get up each day and life is good because I have my health.
  • My child was born with a heart defect and every moment of my life from his birth on was concerned with the surgeries, all the testing, how the defect would hurt his normal growth. Now all the lives in my family are good because he is doing so well.
  • My husband has a chronic form of leukemia and he has fought this battle for years and now with amazing medical research he is taking a new medication and his blood work is great, he feels good. Wow. Life is good when you have your health.

We all have a story to add to these three. Right?? I’m not being a Twinkle Fairy here. You can live a clean, perfect life where you eat well, exercise, get a lot of sleep, practice safe sex, give to charity–I mean illness, cancer, accidents, birth defects–this is vicarious stuff. You do not call it upon yourself.

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But there is this cynical current of thought running under that statement: Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care. No One Dies : because it’s your fault!

Just look at me, I’m healthy and it’s because I made that happen. Oh yes, some congressmen would like to slap that on each American citizen. YOU ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for your health. So don’t ask us to help you. Healthcare is not a right. It’s your fault if you get sick .

Want to talk turkey about that?

  • water quality (government) Think Flint, Michigan.
  • air quality (government)  Think the Environmental Protection Act and how that is being harmed.
  • access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables (income inequality works against this. How about raising the minimum wage??)
  • access to safe neighborhoods (racism affects this; how about getting rid of the NRA or at least put in some laws that control the sale of guns. My God mentally ill people can buy a gun now. ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME???))
  • ability to know what foods to eat, how to exercise — (poverty works against this)

So go ahead and rebuke my ideas. Comment. I’m waiting.

  • If you have your health you can go to school, get an education. (well, Betsy would disagree, but so far we still have public schools.)
  • If you have your health your chances of getting work and getting a paycheck are greatly improved.
  • If you have your health you can feed yourself and hopefully your family. If you have one.
  • People without good health often do not have a companion and they do not reproduce. They are lonely and depressed. GOOD HEALTH IS LIFE-GIVING.
  • AND THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT.

If you don’t have good health, your entire life is affected. There might be twenty or more things YOU have to be concerned about before you can get a job. Before you can even get out the door to that job. Before people will hire you.

Ask someone who is handicapped. Has a chronic illness. Has hearing loss or is blind, lost a limb, was born with a birth defect.

NO ONE DIES BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE HEALTHCARE. Are you (lots of swear words here) kidding me? PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY because they did not get treatment for cancer or a chronic disease.

NO ONE DIES BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE HEALTHCARE. WRONG!!! So Keep calm but then get angry. Call your Congressman or Congresswoman, your State Senators. Or write to them. Maybe the White House? Hmm. Not sure they know where the mailbox is. But keep calm and resist. Your health matters and the health of those you love.

 

16 thoughts on “Making America Sick Again? But It’s National Nurses Week!

  1. Thanks for this, Beth! I agree with everything you say here. I fear the only way to reach those sadists in Washington is to take their health care away by voting them out of office!

    • YES and we will definitely work on that. They have a sign on their foreheads–I give a shit about people.

  2. Did you notice erectile dysfunction nor BPH or other men disorders aren’t on the list.
    I’m mad as hell too Beth. Good article.
    Happy Nurses week.

    • Thanks, Therese. You are emblematic of the kind of people, of nurses we need more of in this country. TEACH AND HEAL. Beth

  3. WOW!!!!! You hit it on the nail! I’m sending this to all my contacts!!! Even the ones
    Who voted for tRump…..👍Are they really my friends????😘
    Love caring nurses like YOU!!!❤

  4. Amen Beth. Of course people die with out healthcare, or they bankrupt hospitals so they will not be omitted.
    My senators are democrats but I will be reminding them that this is a bad move!

    • I’m in the same boat, Haralee, but I’m sure they will vote against this bill, no matter what form it comes back to us in.

  5. Amen, Beth. This situation is so infuriating that it’s hard to stay calm. And it’s hard not to wish a catastrophic illness on these asshats who are so cavalier about the needs of their supposed constituents. I keep saying that if there’s a silver lining to this horror show that’s resulted from the 206 election, it’s that so many of us are speaking out and mobilizing against it. May we prevail. And hold on to our health (not to mention our health insurance).

  6. Your analogy about Flint water is spot on. I was born in Flint. It is tragic that the state cared more about saving $ than they did about providing their residents proper, healthy, drinking water. So, to think that each state is going to truly take care of people with pre-existing conditions is preposterous and frankly a downright blatant lie! Or that clinics are going to suddenly pop up all over to take care of the millions of women who are going to be unable to get basic healthcare screening because of lack of funding for Planned Parenthood. I am so sick and tired of listening to the lies. PLEASE speak contact your senators! Our only hope is that the Senate will come up with a bill that actually fixes what needs to be fixed in the Affordable Care Act and leaves the really positive sections alone!

    • So appreciate your response. What else can we do but fight for women’s health, contribute funds to Planned Parenthood and PRAY. This administration is doing so much damage already. It is frightening. THANKS FOR THE WORK THAT YOU DO, Beth

  7. thanks for reminding us that there’s more to be angry and fearful about than Comey’s firing. Life and death is at stake with so-called reform of Obamacare and the unexamined anger at Planned Parenthood.
    Oh what times we are living through.

    • THANK YOU, for reading and commenting. Somehow we will shoulder through, maybe even with some good results. Right now, it’s frightening.

  8. Fuming. I agree with the man who stood up in the town hall and yelled at his congressman, “You’re the greatest threat to my family right now.” Channel our anger. Every possible way. I am grateful that you, a healthcare professional, went out on a limb.

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