Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Everybody Needs Health Care

I've been going though some dental problems for the last couple of years and it's not cheap. I was diagnosed with periodontal disease. First they planed and scaled my teeth close at the gums. My teeth started getting loose and backing out so I had to go to a specialist. He had to do a bone graft. My teeth were finally healed enough for him to do reconstructive surgery on my gums. I am having trouble with them and don't know what he will do next. We don't have dental insurance so the entire cost is on us. My hygenist said that periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease so the health of my teeth is very important to me.

When we need glasses or contacts we have to pay the entire cost for those, too, because the insurance we have doesn't cover it. My son's have to have a special prescription because their eyes are so bad and the contacts have never been cheap. I don't know how people can afford to go to the doctor and the dentist and the eye doctor and take every member in their family to make sure everyone is healthy and their needs are provided for when it costs so much for glasses and everything. The economy is bad and people have lost their jobs and can't afford to pay that COBRA (or whatever it is) to keep their insurance and they can't even get proper medical care.

I know someone who looks as healthy as a horse but he developed diabetes and has had to be admitted to the hospital because his sugar was so high. He has never had a good job with benefits so he doesn't have insurance. He would never even qualify for insurance if the government hadn't approved the health care act. He doesn't check his sugar every day because he can't afford the test strips. Never mind the fact that he should be on insulin. His blood sugar has spiked over 600 and it is destroying his body. He can't keep it down. He should be able to go to the doctor and get proper attention and medicine to regulate his body but he can't. He is probably just one of millions of people who really do need to go to the doctor, whether they can afford to or not.

I dread it when my husband retires because we won't be able to afford insurance. I can remember my grandmother sitting at the table writing payments for her insurance and it was ridiculous. The cost of health care is outrageous and insurance is sky-rocketing. If everyone had yearly health exams people could be monitored and treated for any unforseen health problems. Fewer people would develope chronic diseases before they were out of control. That should cut down on health cost and provide a healthier nation. It shouldn't be too expensive to go to your GP or gynecologist or dentist.

I don't know how many times I have to say that. "Everybody should be able to go to the doctor." No doctor or dentist, no matter what their specialty, should be able to refuse service to you because you are poor or don't have insurance. Lower income people should have government supplements, if that is what it takes, to make doctors care for patients.

I can remember when being a doctor was a noble profession and doctors didn't turn you away because you didn't have insurance. I doubt many people had insurance years ago. Dear old Doctor Rosen had a first come, first serve service. You went into the waiting room and gave the receptionist your name and she put you on the list. After everyone  who came before you had their turn you was led into the exam room and got the doctor's full attention. I can even remember the last time I saw Doctor Rosen make the last house call in our family. He would come to the house with his little black bag and take care of you if you was too sick to go to his office. He even came to the house when there was a death in the family and he gave my aunt a sedative. You won't find any doctors doing things like that in this day and age. They're in too much of a hurry and aren't willing to go that extra mile. They're probably afraid of law suits, too.

I don't understand why the general public is so against universal health care. Most people don't go to the doctor because they want to; they go because they are sick. It would be a lot cheaper for everyone to have their own doctor than to have to run to the emergency room whenever they are sick. I hate to go to the doctor so I wouldn't go to the hospital unless I thought it was a real emergency. If people had a regular doctor he could monitor their medicines and make sure they weren't mixing medicines or overdosing or taking something that wasn't good for them. He could educate them on how to care for themselves and help them feel empowered about their own health.

I also know someone who had little kids and didn't know better than to let them sleep with a bottle in their mouths and these gorgeous little kid's teeth started rotting at the gum line. Nobody had bothered to teach them not to do this to protect the kid' teeth. I made the horrible accident of giving one some candy and he started screaming in pain. I was so sorry that I had given him candy. If they had of had a caring doctor he should have taught the young parents how to care for their kid's teeth.

As we grow older our bodies start falling apart and you can be healthy one day and falling apart the next. My sons, who are young, think I am kidding but it happens to everyone.

We live in one of the greatest countries in the world in this 21st century. We believe in freedom for all and that includes all men and women and all races and ethnicities. We like to pride ourselves on our generous and humanitarian attitude. As one of the greatest democracies ever established we should extend the protection of LIFE to everyone, not the least of these being the poor and regular people.

I am perplexed with people who are adament that the government shouldn't be involved in health care. Insurance companies aren't going to voluntarily cover people who are sick and need coverage. They hunt for every loop hole they can find to cancel a policy if they can, especially if someone is running up thousands of dollars with a long term illness. Lobbist's work to protect the insurance companies. Nobody is working to protect the people.

Gordon County has a man with a cancer that has eaten up his face. He is one of about 16 people who have contracted this disease and the only one who has survived so long. He had reconstructive surgery and was beginning to look normal again until his face started to split and he is back to living with a hole in his face. He is pitiful but, thank God, he is still optimistic. The doctors are going to try to reconstruct his face again. His family has to be facing millions of dollars in doctor and hospital and surgical bills but the community has had some fund raisers for him. Nobody should have to face such a devastating medical condition and also have to worry about paying his medical bills. He and his wife need all their energy to fight this disease and not worry about money. His name is Donnie Fritts.

I know some people who contracted Tuberculosis in this community and they had to be treated at the county health center for the disease. Since it is a potentially contagious disease the health department treated everyone without charge. One or two people refused to take the medicine on schedule so they were given some shot, I think. I don't know if this would qualify them as having a pre-existing condition but if it does they wouldn't qualify for insurance without the changes that have been enacted in the congress.

Health care isn't a luxury. Health care is a primary need. It is as important as clean water, sanitation, and safe food. We shouldn't differenciate between rich people and poor people. We shouldn't point fingers and blame others. We should be our brothers keeper.

If America can afford to spend billions of dollars for two wars and borrow money from a communist country, China, to pay for it, surely we can afford to make sure every American man, woman, and child has health care. We have poured millions of dollars into rebuilding Iraq after we blew it up and yet we refuse to make sure our own citizens have health care. I am ashamed that people are so callous and uncaring towards their fellow men. I am doubly ashamed that Christians think this is right. All I can say is "What would Jesus do?"


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