Last week, I was watching Now on P.B.S. The program was about healthcare in the U.S, and as I watched it, my health was in danger. My blood was boiling.
The program featured a couple with a very young son with a rare breathing disorder. Because of lack of funds, the child had to be sent house, hooked up to a complex breathing machine with all sorts of wires and tubes. Not only did the doctor have to give the parents detailed instructions, paramedics had to transport the son.
But that’s not all. There is no funding for a nurse. The husband works nights, so the mother, who has a day job, has to stay up all night to make sure the machine is working correctly. If she drifts off to sleep, even for a few minutes, her son could well die.
Something is very wrong with this. At the very least, no parents should be put in this situation.
I was reminded of when, years ago, I had an attendant who got very sick. He had no health insurance - par for the course for my state-funded attendants - and went around sick for weeks. Finally, he gave in, went to a clinic, paid big bucks and got, as he said, "a big shot in the butt." He was better the next day.
Yes, this is crazy and sad. Yes, this is sick. But more than that, it is criminal.
It is a crime when, because of money, a child can’t get the care they need and is in danger of dying. It is a crime when, again simply due to money, anyone is blocked from not being ill, from being decently healthy. America is the only developed country where this happens.
Meanwhile, as we’ve seen lately, "socialism" is a dirty word here. My blood is simmering...