Saturday, June 20, 2009

On Health Care

As the debates continue on health care, it becomes more and more obvious that we need something. If, as debated, Canada's model is not good, let's look at France's model. But, we have to do something.

If a person is employed full-time in this country, chances are they are offered something for health care. If they are not, or they lose their jobs - as many have - they have nothing. Going to the emergency room is not preventative health care - it is emergency care.

Working in social and human services, I see funds in this field cut continuously. Every time our governor, Tim Pawlenty, needs money for the state, he cuts human services. He hits the people with nothing to begin with - and the ones who have the weakest voices. His latest is to cut all single people off of general medical care (GMAC). He is also planning on cutting paraplegic's personal care attendants, and education - just to name a few. Isn't this special? This includes not only clients, but friends of mine. I can tell you that if this man runs for president, he will have no fans in Minnesota. He is brutal and what he is doing is not only immoral, but illegal. But, of course, he has found some sort of a loophole. Wouldn't it be great if he could also find some compassion?

Recently a friend, that I think the world of, was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma - a benign tumor of the brain. It was discovered after his vision started to go blurry. He can no longer read or drive. The size of a golf ball, the tumor was to be removed in a supposedly easy procedure - in which they pulled it through his nose. The procedure was NOT easy and because of the size of the tumor (his is considered to be "giant"), an additional surgery is needed to get the rest of the tumor. This surgery will be even more serious. As the neurosurgeon said, even benign tumors can wreck havoc.

This man has worked his entire life. He is well-educated, bright, and has always been extremely healthy. After being one of the many who was laid off recently, he could not afford the ridiculous price of Cobra and his insurance lapsed. Now, he will have two major surgeries on his brain, numerous appointments, numerous MRI's, and a long recovery period. He is fine with this, as long as it is gone out of his head and he can see again. He will probably be given a hospital bill that easily goes above $100,000.

If we had a good national health care system, this would be taken care of. In his case, my friend had the smarts to know that if he went to a large county hospital with one of the best trauma centers in the country, they would treat him. What else could he do? I was trying to help him by getting him on GMAC. But now, our ever-so-caring governor, is cutting that too.

So, for all the politicians with their great preventative health care, that is top-notch, and always there - could you at least try to have some heart? Or in Tim Pawlenty's case, maybe grow one? There are good people out there who need this vital service - and, in the case of my friend and all the others, it is not only needed, but deserved.

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