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Of Near Death Experiences and Other Thoughts
January 13, 2004
By HawkerHurricane

Readers of the Democratic Underground message board will remember that I suffered from a near disaster: a tear in my esophagus leading to heavy internal bleeding. If not for professionally provided medical care, I would not be typing this today.

And my thoughts turn to the health of others.

I am covered, probably for life, with a health care service. As an active duty member and soon to be veteran of 20 years of service, I should not have a problem getting health care for myself and my spouse. It will not be easy; I will have lines and bureaucrats to deal with; and efforts to prevent my care "to save the nation money." But I will have something; maybe not the finest, but something.

But what of others?

My problem was life threatening, but proper care made my survival "a sure thing." But what of the people in this country who cannot get the proper care? What of the ones who do not have health insurance, who do not go to the emergency room with a problem but stay home and hope it goes away, for they cannot afford health care, even bad health care. What shall we do for them?

The right wing has an answer for this, the same they have for everything else: if you can't afford something to save your life, you don't deserve to live. Does that sound like something their favorite philosopher might say?

For a long time, I was iffy on the subject of National Health Care. I had heard the horror stories; I am familiar with the problems of the system used in Ireland and Venezuela due to family connections. But what is worse - iffy care or no care at all? What is worse, a government bureaucrat whose job depends on not getting in trouble or a corporate bureaucrat whose job depends on saving money for the corporation?

I am no longer 'iffy'. I support national health care, for those who, vomiting blood on Christmas Day, would not go to the hospital for fear of being bankrupt. For those who, if they went to the hospital, would receive inadequate care because the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the services it is contractually required to provide. For the least among us, who deserve better than to bleed to death from something that is easily treated.

"What you do for the least among you, you do for me" - Jesus Christ

In other news...

'Wheel' is on my case; he's got to do all my paperwork while I am convalescing. And he'll vote Democratic in the next election. He likes Dean, Clark, and Kerry in that order.

'Guns' is convinced that it's the Democrats election to lose; Bush cannot win an honest campaign. He likes Clark best, but will vote for any Democrat before Bush.

'Fire' is also voting for any Democrat, but has not stated a preference yet. His home state is still listed as Missouri... how much time does he have to pick?

'Sparks' is getting foolish; he's convinced the reason Governor Arnie has to break his promises is because of the Democrats... and that Bush was right to invade Iraq, since it is our job to shoot the mad dog we created. Therefore, those who say it was wrong to invade Iraq will not get his vote. I'm working on him. He likes Clark, but thinks Dean is a fool for saying "we aren't safer because Saddam is captured..." The country going to Orange Alert really helped my arguments there.

For myself, I have not decided on a presidential candidate, but am working with my congressman's campaign (Bob Filner) and on local races. I'm leaning toward Clark, but call myself one of the ABB crowd, with pride. Looking at the Democratic field, I cannot find one of the nine who would be worse the George Bush the Lesser. While some may indeed be "Bush lite" on some subjects, they aren't on all of them - and if I have to compromise to get Bush out of office, well I shall. I will not allow my dislike of some policies of any given Democratic candidate to take my eyes away from the main prize: Getting the Republican plutocrats out of power so we can restore our country to sanity.

Please, don't let inter-party bickering harm our chances. The opposition is taking notes. Remember, Reagan won in 1980 because of Carter's nomination fight with Kennedy. We lost in Florida because of many little things, any one of which changing could have made a difference.

The Butterfly ballot.
The voter purge.
The selective counting of absentee ballots.
The illegal modification of absentee ballots by Republican operatives.
Nader breaking his promise not to run in close states.
The prevention of the count by Republican operatives.
The failure to count over 60,000 ballots.

Don't let the little things steal this election from us also.

And I remain,

Leading Patient, NMCSD Bldg. 1, ward 1N.
Living proof that universal health care is a good idea.

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