Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
It has been a long time since I last posted here. I have been very ill. And the longest hours have come through the nights when the rest of the world goes to sleep and rests up. The lonely, fearful hours of the night are even more so when physical pain and illness are added on top. I grew in a few short weeks to dread the setting sun. Another night was coming. Another night to worry and wonder -- about money, about cancer, about spitting up, about fevers, about a body that just would not pull out.
So today my piece will be short. Just enough to remember those suffering and dying for health care in America. And just enough for a reminder that around you everywhere are people who are fearful every night. Our system doesn't allow us just to be sick-- that isn't enough. We must worry about what bills will come and if our lives are worth it to anyone.
We need improved and expanded Medicare for all for life. We need it now more than ever. And we need to give the gift to those who are ill of an end to the worries about medical bills and debt that make the nights of physical illness and pain even longer and more dreadful.
And today is the anniversary of the passing of Tracy Pierce. Sr., beloved husband of my SiCKO sister, Julie Pierce. Tracy died after the for-profit health care system denied him the treatment that might have saved his life. Left behind was also his incredible son, Tracy, Jr., and what a murder for profit that was. It is still going on in America -- 123 times every day.
And the count begins for 2014 in America:
January 18, 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: 2,214
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 35,604
** 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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