Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
If you live in New York City or close enough to get there, there is a one-man show currently on an Off Broadway run that will provide you with a different way to view the US health care system and its deadly dysfunction. The play, "Mercy Killers," written and performed by Michael Milligan is worth making the effort to see and telling friends, neighbors and colleagues about.
The show traces one man's journey through his own family's trauma within the health care system and their preconceived notions about how health care access works and doesn't work in the US. From the "Edinburgh Fringe": “Raw, emotional and devastatingly honest. When Joe’s wife is diagnosed with cancer and the health insurance company refuses to pay, his life and his beliefs begin to fall apart. Broadway actor Michael Milligan’s solo show gives an insight into the destructive personal impact of the American health care system. It makes public the private stories of thousands of Americans and shows an urgent need for change in a system failing so many. His performance is incredibly powerful and passionate, sweeping the audience up in Joe’s story; making them laugh sometimes and bringing them to the edge of tears at others. Milligan has written a beautifully moving and thought-provoking piece that will leave you feeling a mixture of thankful, angered and saddened.”
Monday is the last "Pay What You Can" performance of "Mercy Killers" in NYC at The Working Theater. From now until February 2nd, you can see "Mercy Killers," in NYC at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, 31 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY. Then the show moves on to the Bronx and to Flushing.
Milligan has toured with the show in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and from March 1-15, "Mercy Killers," will be on tour in Colorado. Audiences from the plains to the high country, as sponsored by the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation, will be able to learn from Milligan's portrayal and perhaps even become more engaged in the effort to make sure every Coloradan has access to a single standard of high quality care without financial barrier.
Make time. Take time. See "Mercy Killers." Let's resolve that in 2014, we will move ourselves closer to the day when the health care dead and broke numbers diminish rather than grow larger. Because as of right now, were still adding those numbers up as 123 people die every day without access to care that might have saved their lives simply because they do not have the coverage or cash/credit to pay. And there is no mercy in that.
January 25, 2014 -- Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:
The 2014, to date, U.S. medical-financial-
industrial -complex system dead: 3,075
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 49,450
** 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/
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