Sick in America: Do we have a responsibility to our citizens, or is it “too bad so sad”?
Imagine that you work for a company that provides health insurance at a reasonable monthly premium. Now let’s say that someone in your family is very critically, possibly terminally ill and that you are the primary care provider for that person and there is no other family that can really help you. Now let’s imagine that you have used the provision in the Family Medical Leave Act and taken the amount of time off that is allowable under the law – oh, and you have used all of your sick days and vacation as well. Now you are in a very sticky situation. You can:
A) Stay home and provide care for your family member.
B) Leave the family member home alone while you work.
Now let’s say that your workplace has decided that you need to make a decision as they need to have someone working in that position, so you are truly forced to pick A or B. It is likely that (given that it is a family member) you would want to pick option A. So is that a realistic option? If you choose option A, you will lose your employer-provided health insurance…then what kind of care can you provide for your family member? Option B…well, that isn’t realistic at all. What do you do? Back to this in a minute…
I read an article from NPR that has stories from Americans who have had major illnesses and lacked health insurance. The costs to them are staggering and the inefficiency of the system itself is staggering. Yet so many people are still opposed to government run health care…citing that it is too inefficient. How can that be possible? We want to put our health into the hands of “for profit” businesses instead of the government. What business ever has the best interest of the consumer trumping the bottom line? None. The U.S. is being held hostage by the health care “industry” – (seems kind of wrong to even say it that way). It is never going to be in their best interest (which is the bottom line) to have healthy citizens…it is truly a sick-care industry.
Okay now back to the story at the top…Option A or option B? Well, this is actually a true story and here is how it played out: the employee went to his boss (who knew of the illness, obviously) and begged to keep his job in a limited capacity. The boss agreed on a short term basis but there was considerable unspoken pressure to be back at work in a normal capacity. So was this person free? Did he have freedom? I can tell you…no, he wasn’t free.
What does it say about our country when something like this can happen? Many of those on the right will say…”too bad, so sad, not my problem”. Isn’t that a sad state of affairs? Is the United States a country that really doesn’t care about the citizens?
So to those on the right…you protect your “freedoms” at all costs…and then wait until what happened in that story happens to YOU. I can assure you of one thing…you will not feel FREE. I know because that story is what I went through. Wake up America…we need to start taking care of those within our own borders and end the obsession with imperialism.
The issue of health care is something near and dear to my heart and I feel very strongly about it. I am angry at American attitudes toward it and angry that people hide behind this banner of “freedom”…It isn’t freedom…it is much closer to slavery. This cartoon sums it up perfectly…
Welcome to the land of the “free”!