Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
But for the grace of God, there go I. I am a member of the bankrupt-for-health-care-club in America, but I am not among the dead. I am grateful to be here for another Thanksgiving to keep up the fight for health care justice in my home state of Colorado and in the United States.
I am grateful for Michael Moore's efforts to make SiCKO in 2007 and tell the stories of people like me and my SiCKO family, Reggie, John, Billy, Julie and Tracy, Jr., Lee, Adrian and Aurora, Andy, Dawnelle and Mychelle, and all the others who shared their experience, strength and hope in that film.
My gratitude is hard to measure for the people who embraced us after the film was released -- the nurses of the California Nurses Association, the doctors of Physicians for a National Health Program, Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America, Congressman John Conyers and his staff, Hilda and Koko Sarkisyan, Wendell Potter, Marilyn Clement and Healthcare-NOW, Media Benjamin and Code Pink, and so many others who had nothing to gain by helping lift me and Larry out of our darkest times. Later on down the road, I met more nurses from Australia (New South Wales and Queensland) who have helped us so much and cared enough to reach across an ocean to do so.
And believe it or not, I am grateful for my cancer and the lessons it has taught me and is teaching me still. If not for the cancer and the bankruptcy struggle, I would not know enough to speak with credibility about the suffering of those people in my nation who need improved and expanded Medicare for all for life more now than ever. My struggles are my strength and my growth. I embrace them -- though I admit a little less struggle is always welcome too.
My family knows how important they all are to me. This year, I left a job I loved and was gratified doing to return to Colorado where I could be closer to family and work to achieve single-payer reforms on the state level. And here in Colorado, I want more than anything to have no other Coloradans die or go bankrupt because of the health care system's dysfunction. Health Care for All Colorado has my passion and my energy now and until we achieve health care as a human right and public good. We could use your financial support now more than ever.
This Thanksgiving, my heart and soul wish you the richness of experience I have had along with good people around you to help you through -- perhaps the measure of all the help and support I have had was in universal proportion to the struggles somehow -- so I wish you enough support and help to keep you whole.
Happy Thanksgiving, and until we get true health care justice, I fight on with you by my side.
November 27, 2013 -- Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:
The 2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-
industrial -complex system dead: 41,110
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 649,830
** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-related bankruptcies from that number.http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/endorse_right_to_health_care
Follow Donna "American SiCKO" Smith's blog at: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...