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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:55 PM
Original message
The stages of grief.
Denial, Anger, and yet more Anger.

Its been more than a year since my best friend died and Im still stuck at anger. Im mad at the drug and insurance lobbies and at the Republicans who suck up to them. Im mad that 15 years ago when the Clinton administration tried to do something to help people like Kevin the axis of evil eviscerated them with lies, distortions and an unprecedented advertising and email campaign.

There are 46 million people in the United States without health insurance. Kevin was one of them. Not because he was lazy or too poorly equipped to get a job with benefits. Not because he didnt know better. He was without coverage because he was a self-employed businessman, the kind of fellow that Bush raves about for his entrepreneurial spirit.

For every million people without health insurance there are 16,000 people between the ages of 25 and 55 who die for lack of care. Kevin was one of them.

For years Kevin paid the outrageous premiums that insurance companies charge. Then, after the wonderful Bush economy cut his customer base in half he had to cut costs. Either pay the mortgage or pay the insurance. Kevin paid the mortgage.

No-one should be forced to choose between their home and their health. Thirty-seven industrialized nations have universal health care. Every one of them has a longer lifespan and lower infant mortality rate than the United States. Every one of them pays a fraction of what we do for medical care. Every one of them can provide a blueprint for universal health care in the United States.

Kevin had been feeling bad for about a week but put off visiting the doctor because a single office call costs several hundred dollars. He would just have to tough it out and get over it.

Since George Bush took office a million people each year lost their insurance because they lost a job, their employer stopped offering coverage or like Kevin they could no longer afford it. Thats six million new uninsured. That means that 96,000 more people die needlessly every year for lack of care. These arent street people, theyre not drug users and theyre not different from you and me. In fact they are exactly like the average American because they are the average American. How many pay checks would you have to miss before you stopped paying the $1500-2000 a month insurance premiums?

Kevin continued to suffer and finally called the doctor. He died of a heart attack as he got dressed to go to the appointment. He was a few weeks short of his fifty-first birthday. I miss him. And Im mad.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. I am really sorry about your friend Kevin.....
What has been done to working Americans should be seen as a crime by this administration....

They mocked Hillary for trying to implement Universal Health Coverage....and once again they have been proven wrong....at the cost of American Lives.....

I am angry with you....
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I am so sorry for your loss.
We can do better, without a doubt.
And that doesn't even make it easier to shoulder your burden.
I've been without insurance. I know how it is.
:hug:
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. My condolences.
Tragically, Kevin is not alone. 18,000 americans die each year from a lack of insurance.
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's 18,000 for every million without insurance.
I can't remember where I found that stat. I need to find it again.
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gademocrat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. My deepest sympathy.
It is outrageous that this country can not take care of its citizens.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. It's not that they can't
It's that they choose not to.
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Liberal Jesus Freak Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm so sorry. . .
I have never understood people who are against universal health care. My father served in the Air Force for 23 years, and my first husband was in the Navy. I was nearly 30 years old before I had to deal with deductibles and co-pays. All those years we simply went to the doctor when we were sick. And then we got well.

Now, I have the privilege of selecting my own doctor, scheduling an appointment at some date down the road, and paying $10 (if I remembered to write it down on my calender). Thank God I have insurance without a deductible and only a small co-pay. But here's the kicker: I make $16,000 but only bring home $7200. Why? Because my husband is also one of the entrpreneurs our president is so proud of and I carry him on my insurance.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Hi Liberal Jesus Freak!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
:kick:
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
9. That's terrible but it's also more and more common these days
I am sorry about your friend. I have friends in a similar situation. Worked all their lives, had good jobs with benefits, layed off, insurance ran out and they're hoping they don't get sick.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
For Kevin and all others like him who needlessly suffer and die because our politicians prefer greed over compassion.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
12. i'm so sorry and this is a great post
i could tell similar stories but i'm not so well spoken

this happens every fucking day is all i can tell you

it must change
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Keepontruking Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. Grief
This is a personal thing ...how long it last depends on you .
we are all different.  I really am sorry and understand your
anger.  This war would have paid for health care for every
american in the US, money they couldn't find for saving lives
just for killing.  I too am angry.  Very very angry. as a a
Nurse I watch people die every day that should have been
hospitalized months before they were..........but these
stupid insurance companies run the Docs not the Docs what do
these people know about medicine.Zip!!!!!!!!!!!    If anybody
is tired, Short of breath, has chest pain, pain in their
chest, arm, tongue jaw chew an aspirin it will save heart
muscle and help prevent a major heart attack!!!!!!!!!!  
Circus Girl
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thats good advice, also
start taking fish oil capsules omega 3 every day.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
15. I'm sorry about your friend.
As you said,

"These (the uninsured) arent street people, theyre not drug users and theyre not different from you and me. In fact they are exactly like the average American because they are the average American. "

I think a lot of nice, well-meaning dingbats people still don't realize that. That a person can be nice, well-spoken, hard working, and uninsured. But as time goes on, and they and/or their friends and neighbors, lose their insurance, they WILL realize it.



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