Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
Soon, we'll begin counting down all the things about 2013 that were significant, And among those countdowns will be the list of those lost in 2013 -- the passing of people of note. Celebrities and politicians will be remembered. Media phony patriotism will allow a nod to the US troops lost on 2013. But I will guarantee that the 45,000 killed by the greed of the US health care system in 2013 will not even receive a footnote.
You know as I do that among those 45,000 killed due to the greed of the for-profit health care system in the US were some amazing souls -- in fact, I am willing to bet they all were. Their lives had as much value as any one of those we'll hear about in the countdowns to 2014.
So, I will keep counting them down here. 45,000 dead because they lacked the public or private coverage or the cash/credit to pay for the care that might have saved their lives. If we had an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life system, we likely would have saved a great majority of those people, but we will never know that. And we grieve for the more than 700,000 who have gone bankrupt due to medical crisis and debt whose lives will never be the same. Sick or hurt, they also had to fight with collection agencies and rabid bill collectors who cared little about the human beings who were being crushed -- they were making commissions on those bad debt collections after all.
So, we count the dead. And we fight on to the day when we won;t need the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare exchanges or bronze, silver, gold and platinum labels and plans. All we will need under an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life program is the providers who will care for us as human beings and not as profits to be made.
December 31, 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: 45,046
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 713,126
** 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: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/
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