The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘Health

Death by profit

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Long after midnight, some years ago, I found my son in the fetal position on the floor outside our bedroom door, in intense pain.  We rushed him to the hospital.  Pancreatitis, it was.  He received good treatment.  And in some days, he mostly recovered.

The Hurting
Image by Marquette La via Flickr

That night came to mind just now as I read these paragraphs from Sojourners:

Two weeks ago, Sam* died suddenly. He was only 21 years old, strong and healthy, preparing for a life ministering to youth. Cause of death: acute pancreatitis and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Reason for death: no access to health care to treat the incredible pain in his stomach – until it was too late. The bottom line: While angry protesters disrupt town hall meetings and national organizations spread fear-based lies, lives are lost.

The current health-care system leaves you and me just as vulnerable to lack of care as Sam was. Health-care reform is just as much an issue of justice, of preserving and celebrating life, as it is an issue of caring for the vulnerable. [...]

[T]he current system “renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all.” [...]

[A]t Sam’s funeral there were no angry shouts or accusations. There was only shock and grief among the 400 friends and family members who attended.

Had I been born in a different situation, that death would have happened at my house; that shock and grief at my church. I would still know it today.

How long will we tolerate the fact that profits are more important than lives in America?  How did we become so hard-hearted as to turn our backs on the victims of such perversion?  What kind of monsters have we become?

sig1_100w

* Name changed to protect the privacy of his family.


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Resources for fact-checking health reform claims

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Nine websites for untangling fact from fiction

So you heard someone say something was a part of  health insurance reform, and you’re wondering if it’s true. Where do you turn? Here are some honest efforts to bring facts to the table and set rumors and speculations aside.  The list is quoted from a post of Nate Van Duzer.

Start with this regularly-updated site from the Kaiser Family Foundation that compares the different reform proposals on the table.

Factcheck.org is a trusted source of nonpartisan myth-busting and truth-telling. For the latest information about whether new advertisements, speeches, or e-mails tell the truth, visit this site.

A summary of factcheck.org’s research into several arguments surrounding health-care reform, published July 14, 2009.

“A Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform” from The New York Times, published August 9, 2009.

“10 Health Care Reform Myths” from CBS News, published August 6, 2009.

“Fact or Fiction? The Truth About Four Health Care Fears” from ABC News, published August 13, 2009.

8 Myths about Health Care Reform from the AARP Magazine, published July/August 2009.

A good source of current news, background information, and analysis all in one place.

Interviews and analysis of five capitalist democracies and how they each do health care.

Nate Van Duzer is the policy intern at Sojourners.

To learn more about health-care reform, click here to visit Sojourners’ Health-Care Resources Web page.

Truth is ever the friend of justice. Go get it.

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Americans of a Lesser God?

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Burlington
Image via Wikipedia

I came across this honest piece at the excellent Blog for Iowa.  Sounds like it was originally published in my home-town newspaper, The Burlington Hawk-Eye.  [That's beautiful Burlington,  left, at the top.]

I had the following published in the Burlington newspaper last Saturday. I offer it here for people to use, distribute further, etc. My essay is a little long and rambling, but I have been silent too long. And we dare not lose this fight.

David Ure
Burlington, Iowa

~To what lesser God do those people who have no health care insurance belong? What sin did they commit? I have no doubt some of them have made mistakes, made bad choices, engaged in illegal or immoral activities in some instances, didn’t get themselves elected to the state house or Congress; but not all 47 million plus.

The time has come, if we are to continue to call ourselves a nation of God and faith and fairness, for every American to have health insurance. My preference is to plop everyone into Medicare whose operational costs are half to 2/3 lower than the private sector, and allow the insurance companies the opportunity to sell all of us supplemental policies as my elderly, now long-gone, relatives purchased for years.

But I won’t say it has to be this way or nothing. More than anything else, I want to see coverage in place for everyone, and for it to be there in as direct and obvious a manner as can be cobbled together. Read the rest of this entry »

GOP’s healthcare “think tank?” It’s owned by an insurance company.

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In this brief video clip, a host of GOP lawmakers rattle off the words “Lewin Group” to substantiate their woeful stories of the Very Bad Things that will happen if there’s any serious health insurance reform.

Newt Gingrich calls the Lewin Group “respected.” Charles Grassley labels it a “think tank.”

Then CNN calls it “owned”—lock, stock, and barrel—by an insurance company.

clipped from www.youtube.com

GOP-Cited Firm Owned By Insurance Company
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Remember how they used to give us tobacco industry “experts” to convince us tobacco was harmless?

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Sixty-four years of profits before people

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What's the rush

Written by Monte

August 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

Nurses: If you ever had to see a sick child turned away because they had no healthcare coverage…

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clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
This ad, called “Nurses,” premieres on Sunday.  “Patients aren’t the only ones crying out for health care reform,” it says.
The initial buy for the “Nurses” ad begins Sunday, July 26 and will continue on networks and cable through July 29th.
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What kind of a nation turns away sick children in order to protect profits?

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Written by Monte

July 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm

“Someone’s premiums” bought my lunch on gold-rimmed china

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Wendell Potter, former CIGNA exec, tells of the change of heart that caused him to leave the industry. While visiting family members in Tennessee, he drops in on a medical expedition, staffed by volunteers, at a Virginia fairgrounds, in a county where people have little health care access …
clipped from www.democracynow.org
I had no idea what to expect, but when I walked through the fairground gates, it was just absolutely overwhelming … [P]eople … were lined up in the rain by the hundreds … and they were being treated in animal stalls … They also had set up tents. It looked like a MASH unit. It looked like this could have been something that was happening in a war-torn country, and war refugees were there to get their care [...]
It was just unbelievable, and it just drove it home to me, maybe for the first time, that we were talking about real human beings and not just numbers [...]
[T]wo or three weeks later, I was [flying to a meeting] on one of the corporate jets … I was served my lunch on a gold-rimmed plate, was given gold-plated flatware [...]
it just dawned on me, for the first time, that someone’s premiums … were paying for my lunch on gold-trimmed china [...]
I thought about those men and women that I had seen in Wise County … not having any idea that this is the way that insurance executives lived and how premium dollars were being spent … I had to leave [...]
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One dollar of every three we send to our health insurance companies goes to something other than healthcare. Those who struggle to pay high premiums to protect themselves and their children buy corporate jets, skyscraper penthouses, and fine china for insurance executives. Those who won’t, or can’t, often die prematurely.

Should we really have choose between paying for corporate luxury or risking an early death?

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