We Need Some Movers n Shakers To Get Behind Nationalized Health Care

Just read a profile/interview on Tim Gill, a software multi-millionaire who has devoted the majority of his fortune to the fight for LGBT rights for over 20 years though the Gill Foundation. Gay marriage was a goal, but now that this has become law, he continues to work toward making equality a reality in all 50 states. As the article points out, what good does allowing a lesbian couple to marry do if either or both of them could lose their jobs simply by putting a picture of their partner on display where they work? (There are still laws in place designed to push back on gay marriage in many states.)

The push for single payer health care - even if it was to be AN OPTION or an option that could be a part of a total health insurance package - needs a Tim Gill or maybe a better plan would be to have several Tim Gills. The beauty of what Gill did for the LGBT community was not simply that he threw a lot of money in the effort for equality. He put his logical, computer coding mind to work to develop a systematic plan to get people involved at all levels of government who were open to, and supportive of, equality. The Gill Foundation continues to do so even though many other big donors have dropped out once gay marriage was recognized on a national level.

The motivation for me to write this post today is the result of a recent death of a young wife and mother of three. She fought recurring cancer for several years with courage, a terrific attitude, and a beautiful smile. Her husband hung in there in spite of circumstances that might send many a spouse running in a search for greener pastures. Theirs was a family in which both partners were employed - at least until she was too sick to work any longer.

I probably do not have to tell you about the financial effects of a continuing cancer battle, do I? Over the years there have been more than one fundraising efforts on behalf of the family. The plus side of these efforts is the amazing ability of the Lowell, Michigan community to rally round those in need. Having benefited in many ways myself from Pink Arrow Pride, I cannot say enough in praise of the true power of community in this regard. Pink Arrow has been duplicated around the country and one result is that Lowell is the ONLY town of 4,000 people to have a Gilda's Club.

All of that is wonderful, but the last line of the obituary for this 39 year old woman put me over the top: "In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family to assist with funeral expenses. "

What a horrible, and at the same time horribly revealing, capstone on a family's attempt to deal with illness. "Hey folks - rather than buying flowers, can you please help us pay the cost of burying, our wife, daughter, mother?" I am not taking a pot shot at the family - my cannon is aimed at our health care system and the way it continues to wreck financial havoc.

SHE GOT SICK. As a result of sickness her family is financially ruined. This is such UTTER BULLSHIT it makes my blood boil. Her cancer was NOT the result of poor lifestyle choices. She did not abuse drugs or alcohol and end up in a casket too early. (The ultimate irony is that before she was too sick to continue, she worked in healthcare.) Why on earth are people and families in the richest nation on the goddamn planet forced into penury because of illness?

Before you give me the pat answer of "Well, countries with national health care have their problems, too." let me head you off. I will grant you ALL health care efforts face challenges - BUT THERE IS NO OTHER DEVELOPED NATION THAT ALLOWS IT'S CITIZENS TO GO BROKE BECAUSE OF ILLNESS. ZERO. NONE.

Please read that over until it sinks in. No where does this happen. In fact, I have spoken with people from other countries who admit that when they were first confronted with tales of people losing their fortunes and homes because of being sick - THEY DID NOT BELIEVE it could be true.

Secondly, if you are going to hide behind that lame ass logic, how about this challenge: If we are the greatest country on the planet, then why don't we DO IT BETTER? How about we learn from the shortcomings of _______ country? (Chose one or a dozen, because the truth of the matter is that every other developed country has nationalized health care. EVERY ONE.) If we are the best at everything, then how about we become the best at taking care of sick people?

As someone who has danced with cancer, I can speak first hand of the horrible truth of not only facing a potentially lethal disease, but also living with the fear that should I manage to live though it - how the hell am I going to pay for it? This is not a joke - this is not something anyone in this country should just shrug off. Stress is a killer - you know this unless you have your head positioned in your posterior. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the added stress of paying for treatment is a major contributing factor to more illness and disease in America.

How many more families need to be brought to their financial knees by illness? How many more fundraisers do we need to have?

You want to make America Great Again? Then change the way we do the business of healthcare. Put an end to the absolute stupidity of causing people to go broke because of illness.

Where are the Tim Gills willing to step up to the plate? It is wonderful that the Gates Foundation can do marvelous things in Africa or Haiti - how about Bill and Melinda directing a few hundred million dollars toward an effort to make it so that NO American of any gender, color, creed, or social status, has to be financially crippled just because they get sick? Hey Warren Buffet - hows about you and your foundation doing something that will benefit everyone in the country?
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