Why don’t we all have this?

This is an update on mom, but it’s also about health care, a subject that makes people lose their minds these days (mine included).

Mom fell Sunday night and tore up her elbow which led to a trip to the ER. They ran tests and found that her potassium was high. The words ‘kidney failure’ were bandied about and she was admitted. It was a long night. No word yet on how her kidneys are or why this happened, but she’s better now. My mom is tough and heals fast so I won’t be a bit surprised if she’s not back at her assisted living center playing cards in a few days.

At no point during any of this did we have to worry about how to pay for it. Mom has Medicare and supplemental insurance. As I looked around the packed ER, I knew that a lot of those folks were having a much more stressful experience because they had to worry about how to pay for their medical care.

I know good people who cannot afford insurance. They work hard, they live good lives, but food and housing consume their budgets. The stress of knowing that they can’t afford to go to the doctor is awful and leads to more health problems.

Even though we as a nation are split over how best to fix the system, we ought to be able to agree that everyone deserves access to decent health care. If I could wave a magic wand, we’d all have the same medical care that my mom has just because she is over 65. I guess that means that I’m for a single payer system where we all pay in and cover each other.

Before your head explodes and you start writing about why I’m wrong, take a deep breath. I don’t have a wand, I have an opinion, as do you. Our politicians, who have the power to actually do something, also have opinions, but they can’t seem to reach a consensus. Maybe they need to learn how to listen to each other and have a real conversation so that they can reach a compromise.

Feel free to comment with a different view, but let’s keep it constructive. Let’s listen to each other with open minds —maybe we could start a trend :-)!

64 thoughts on “Why don’t we all have this?

    • I have many Canadian friends who agree that emergency surgery is good in Canada, however, anything else you may have to wait years (and years) for, so come to the States instead…hip replacement is just one example.

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      • My 52 year old son lives here in US. He cannot afford insurance and is now unable to work because he needs a hip replacement. He has been trying to get help since May. Even our city hospital has no one who can do a hip replacement for him. Other local hospitals have indigent programs, but claims he doesn’t qualify. We are at our wits end.

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      • Hello – Prima
        If this can help your son or not ,there is way to get his surgery can be done.
        i worked Orthopedic Provider contract/ Surgery Coordinator /billing.code/dr and hospitals for long time.
        I am not sure what state your son lives . By the law ( not many ppl know about this some state or hospitals are diff ) if mbr goes in ER with acute pain with hips , ER will consulting with Othro DR on Call for that day (specialist has to on call if they are participating that hospital ). Once OTHO dr see him and say to follow up with office visit. you will call That DR’s office make appot since that Otho dr has obligation with that practicing hospital.(lots Drs now days try to do without this contract with hospital since lots Hostilities ) . When he call to dr’s office when where he saw dr . need to follow and at that time tell them, he will make payment arrangement(it doesn’t have to be alot. start with what he can we had once person 10/moth never missed. lol by the way ask for discount too. ) . surgery can be done at ER Hosptial where he was in ,They will agree that surgery (here you will call make payment arrangement too ) It really up to Dr your son got hold of . they can work with him for surgery.
        Hip replacement will take time to heal. will need follow up PT. and all that. look for
        County has help system – at hospital they will find some indigent care for him. so you can have further treatment. it will be limited amt still will help.
        I learn that this country if you are very poor can’t eat some help is qualify , Other way is to have bunch kids – medicaid available. also so called Earned income credit – this joke.- too. I feel like i pay tax just for them. I have seen some well to do have kids but somehow kids on Medicaid ? What kind of system is this?
        Some buys for little as lunch money under name Children’s health care=Medicaid .
        I am all to helping kids who needed. i DO NOT wish nor want one kid in this world being sick .. However i seen too many abuse on this medicaid. this is why Dr’s doesn’t like to work with this.(remember DRs like to make money get rich / Trump understand what rich wants) Medicaid do helps for Nursing homes although this money is Fed funding but State manages. so some state nursing homes do not get that help at all. some nursing home patient to get this medicaid . not easy either.
        Lots countries has single payer system insurance is working well . I have seen them. like if you have 1 pay for one 2 pay two. 3 4 5,
        Here Great America. 1, 2, after family – so expensive like crazy just because one of member in family is sick premium goes up. Or you get life time Max out too.
        No matter I do Love this country so much. I hope this things can be change for everyone’s benefit. sorry to say not look a like it.
        send letter to congress in close to you all.

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  1. Becky –

    Our politicians have opinions, and they also have good health coverage, provided by taxpayers. Why aren’t all Americans deserving of the same?
    We know that other countries have provided for all citizens without bankrupting economies.
    My husband suffered a heart attack while in France, a country with “socialized” health care (Medicare for all!). He received top-notch, life-saving treatment. It cost ten times less than the treatment received by a colleague for a heart attack in our home town. And the hospital food was delicious.
    My two cents!
    Adele

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I so agree, Becky. As a public school teacher mainly with minority populations, I saw so much suffering and inability to get health care. Now it seems to have entered an even greater percentage of our population….. I also led tour groups overseas every summer and witnessed wonderful health care systems….maybe not Cadillac systems, but ACCESSIBLE, and comprehensive even for my traveling students. I’m older now…..and sit back watching all the craziness and sanctioned meaness in our country …..and I am so worried and distressed. My husband reminds me as a peace corps volunteer and activist in my youth…..and public service worker my entire life….I didn’t change the world and I just need to sit back, encourage our younger generation to cure our woes, love and care for our grandchildren and neighborhood children…and enjoy my blogs and quilting! Novel thought!

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  3. I agree with you on wishing I had a magic wand, and that the politicians would work together and compromise. What to do to fix the health care system so everyone is happy is a tough one. I am increasingly tired of hate filled rhetoric by politicians and people on line about how terrible “the other side” is. Aren’t we all Americans? When was that forgotten?

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  4. I have been in your place…. mom and dads Medicare and supplemental is such peace of mind to them.. My husband and I just reached that magical age this year. But are watching my daughter and her family struggle with out insurance because of job changes. It is crazy our insurance is left up to our employers… It needs to be fixed and called Affordable Health Care Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. I agree 100%…. I keep saying they act like 10 year olds…

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  5. I agree with you. I just want affordable healthcare that is actually affordable. I dont agree with fining anyone that doesnt buy insurance. What drives me crazy is all the protesters that have no idea what is even in the new bills, but protest anyway. I’m not sure the politicians do either!

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  6. I read sewing and quilting blogs for fun and the opportunity to learn about and possibly buy new products. I am disappointed you are venturing into the realm of politics on your blog. Of course it is your right and you have the perfect venue to proclaim and possibly advance your beliefs among others. I have followed you for many, many years. I have taken classes, bought many of your books, purchased fabric and supplies from your website. Most recently I even had the opportunity to speak with you in Duluth. However; quilting, sewing, and reading fun blogs and quilting books is my way of getting relief from all of the mostly negative news stories, political blogs, TV shows, etc. I’m so sorry, but bye-bye!

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    • Hi Kathleen:

      I don’t always venture outside of quilting but when I do, it is usually family-related and that’s where this post comes from. I try to be non-partisan because we are, regardless of our politics, all in this together. I’m sorry you were not happy with this post and I hope you continue to have many happy stitches.

      Becky

      >

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  7. Thank you. It’s easy for those of us with insurance to think we have it because of so many reasons other than being lucky, fortunate, blessed or whichever word works for you.

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      • I guess that’s my point. Not everyone can work and even those who do work, hard, do not necessarily have access to insurance with their jobs. And the insurance market is not that great. So then what? These people get sick should just suck it up and die quietly?

        In my humble opinion, access to medical care should be a right. That doesn’t mean cadillac care for everyone, but good basic health care.

        >

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  8. My husband and I have said the same thing. We are a wealthy country, all of our citizens should have basic health care. My husband is english, so he just can’t figure out why it is so hard for the US to get it together. The partisan politics needs to be put aside and the politicians need to work for the ciitizens that gave them their jobs.

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  9. I moved to BC, Canada 15 years ago and have been very appreciative of the health care system. My husband was recently in the hospital for several days and there was no bill for his care. Friends have had knee, hip replacements without having to wait years for the surgery. Acute conditions are cared for right away. I am completely satisfied with my extremely competent physicians/dentists/emergency personnel.

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    • I hear lots of stories like this from Canada and from my Australian friends. It makes me wonder where all the bad stories are coming from. Is it one of those friend of a friend things that may or may not be true? Is it that some medical procedures that a person wants are deemed unwise by the doctors in charge? I know that my mom wants more surgery than she is healthy enough to have (new knee, back surgery, etc.) and she’s not happy to be denied. But I agree with her doctors.

      It is very hard to tweeze out what the truth and to figure out what might work in the US.

      >

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  10. Wouldn’t trade my Canadian health care system for the world!
    And I love hearing about Becky’s encounters with Life…was recently thinking about all her home improvements of a while ago.

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  11. This is just an idea, if the politicians would have to be on the health care plan themselves they would come up with an idea but how can you help people if you don’t have to experience the same? I agree with you. We can’t just be the guiena pigs.

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  12. I agree with Christie. If the politicians had the same insurance, the problem would already be solved. I wish someone in the news would tell us what the insurance provides for them and how much it costs. Just my opinion.

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  13. Hi, I’m on Medicare with a supplement and I agree it’s great. There are some things that neither Medicare nor your supplement will pay. And the drug plan is terrible. I think Congress should have to have the same healthcare plan they dream up for the American people. They have great care and no premiums since we pay for their health care. I bet things would change if they had to have the policies, the deductibles and the premiums that regular American families have to face every month and year. My self employed daughter and son-in-law have a $10,000 deductible. That’s a lot for a young family.

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  14. Thank you for your words. Yes, we need to listen to each other with respect. I’m on an area where many will be hurt if the ACA is voted out. We already have massive outdoor health clinics for those who can’t afford care. Also many do not have access to any health care near their towns and farms. This is so wrong, I feel, in a country with the wealth we have. I will close now because I become quite upset with this issue and lack of care for those who need it.

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  15. Also a Canadian, so I cannot really comments on your healthcare situation. But From where we sit …it boggles the mind that a country that believes it is the best in the world has not managed to find a way to provide universal healthcare for its citizens.

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  16. Hi Becky…keep up the words…I agree a single payer system is what we need…to the above who disagree with your post..they want us to listen to their side ..why can’t they listen to the opposition..a thoughtful national debate needs to look at all sides but in the end then most important issue is health care for all

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  17. Becky, I appreciate your comments. Like your Mom, I am on Medicare with supplements. I have had cataract surgery, two hand surgeries, and one hospital stay while on Medicare and have paid a pittance out of my own pocket. When I was still on company health plans (and prior to the ACA) our deductible was up to $10,000 a year, but the insurance company never credited all of our out of pocket expenses to the deductible. They claimed the doctors were charging “more than the average amount in our area”. When I questioned them, it turned out they just picked amounts out of the air as their “average”. Medicare does not come with those problems. But the pharmaceutical companies wrote Part D and got a provision passed forbidding Medicare from negotiating drug prices, which means we all have to pay whatever they want, which is so much higher than costs in other countries that it is highway robbery. There must be a better way to provide health care. The U.S. pays more for less than many countries.
    We can do better than a system based on “if you can’t afford insurance, don’t get sick”.

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  18. Thank you, Becky. I read several comments including some negative ones. I agree that each of us has the right to express an opinion and I honor you for doing so. It is only with communication and listening that each of us improves as a human being and as a quilter. We are beings compromised of all parts, the quilter, the daughter, etc. and so I think it’s appropriate that you or anyone else give an opinion on any part of one’s life. I think we need to call the health care law by its name (ACA) and not make it political. Let’s talk and work out the problems – isn’t that what we do as quilters? We didn’t start making A+ quilts, we started and learned, changed, listened to others, etc. Again, thank you.

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  19. Thank you for your update on your mom and for your thoughts on the healthcare system in the U.S. Your earlier comments about her double vision and that it may be an indication of a mild stroke rang bells with me as a dear friend was experiencing the same thing. Her MRI was negative but who would have known otherwise? I always enjoy your posts on family activities and usually learn something from your posts about family health issues. I happen to agree with you on universal healthcare, but even if I did not I would value your thoughts. More people need to be having deep thoughts and communicating them in a thoughtful manner.

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  20. I agree with you, Becky, 100%. I would love to see everyone treated fairly, no one-up-manship. For me, it’s cruel and it hurts my heart to see how a good many people struggle, suffer, worry and more.

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  21. I agree that everyone in the US should have health care. I don’t know how they can fix it, but if we are the greatest nation then we should all have housing, food and health care. That’s just my opinion.

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  22. As an Australian I can be assured of emergency healthcare, cancer treatment and affordable visits to my GP. It is not free as we pay 2% of our income to support it and a co payment for doctor visits to those doctors who do not bulk bill the government. I am fortunate to be able to afford private health cover on top of this which gives me private hospital cover and choice of doctor while in hospital. It is not a perfect system as I hear many stories of huge waiting lists for some procedures like knee and hip replacements for those without private cover. However those most in need are looked after. Surely the USA with such wealth can afford a safety net for those who are struggling or very ill. Thanks for this blog Becky.

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  23. You have captured the essence of so much debate that is going on right now. Yes, it is complicated, but it is also simple. Thanks for this simple straight forward statement which captures so much. “I know good people who cannot afford insurance. They work hard, they live good lives, but food and housing consume their budgets. The stress of knowing that they can’t afford to go to the doctor is awful and leads to more health problems.”

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  24. I don’t want single payer and more government control over my health. If it happens then you will have to wait months for care. People in Canada come to America for gall bladder surgery. The answer is insurance competition for health care needs. Get insurance across state lines. Health care savings accounts.

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  25. I live in Australia. I have never understood the US sytem of health. We are so lucky here to have health care for EVERYONE, regardless of whether you have private health insurance or not. There are those who choose to pay insurance for top cover, however, NO ONE is denied medical treatment, operations, emergency care, seeing a doctor, cancer treatment or anything. Yes, there are waiting lists for certain things on the public system, but it is fair and if you need medical treatment, you GET it. It seems our heatlh care here in Australia is pretty much about the best in the world. Thank goodness I live here. If I were to travel to the US for a holiday, there is no way I would go there without paying for travel health insurance before I left, as if anything happened, I know I would not be looked after like I would be here. I think it must be a terrible way to live to fear becoming ill and that you would not be able to get medical help if you had no money to pay for it, and lets face it, there is a huge percentage of the population who do not have spare money for such things, the cost of living everywhere is too high and wages are taken up with keeping a roof over your head and food on the table. There is just often nothing left over.

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  26. I also agree with you Becky! I’m a bit surprised at how many of us agree with you! It makes me wonder why we can’t get this done! The ACA, or Obamacare has been a godsend for many that I know who qualify for Medicaid, but it has also caused health insurance for many, who don’t qualify for assistance, to sky rocket. Our daughter, who lives in a small town in rural Colorado, and works for a nonprofit where she doesn’t make much money, but makes just enough not to qualify for help, has to pay an obscene amount for her health insurance. But she also recognizes that her friends with preexisting conditions, are finally able to get health care. Single payer would be fair to all. Anyone who makes money would pay into the system based on their income & no one would be able to decline to pay into the system. My husband & I keep wondering why people who agree that everyone who has a car must have car insurance, do not agree that everyone should pay into health insurance.

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  27. I agree with Barb Walsh that Congress should have the same coverage as we do. Better yet, we should have theirs! The Beltway just doesn’t get our reality.
    When I hear Medicare misnamed an entitlement, in DC or elsewhere, I cringe and bristle. Medicare is paid up front over years of working, either by you or your spouse. Not all of us qualify, it doesn’t magically come to us at 65. Disability benefits are the same, no pay, no gain. Keep this in the conversation or they will whittle it away.

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  28. I do not want single payer. Too much government control over my health. They can’t fix Medicare or Medicaid.
    I want to be able to buy insurance in a competitive market.
    ACA is NOT affordable. I didn’t save 2500$ DEDUCTIBLES skyrocket. Now Americans are not getting care. Need food.

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    • ACA is NOT affordable. Deductibles are high. Didn’t save 2500$peryear. But yesterday no democrats voted to start a debate with both sides having a solution. Just political not for the people.

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  29. I agree. We were just at the doctor for shots in my husband’s arthritic knees. Medicare and supplemental are terrific. If only those with money were not so obsessed with keeping it rather than willing to help for the common good. As they say ‘We all do better when we ALL do better.’

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  30. Obama care made 40hrs to 24 hours. No insurance coverage. I believe in a free market. Get insurance across the state line.
    No one will die because they have no insurance. I work in a hospital. The er is full and the hospital does not deny anyone.
    Who is suppose to pay for all free I insurance?

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    • In my view, we all pay and I suspect that would make you unhappy. Finding a way to make it work won’t be easy.

      So, Yolanda, you have commented the most on this post and that’s fine. We disagree, also fine. I could delete your comments but have not because in a conversation both sides get to voice an opinion. However, at this point, I’m very happy to agree to disagree and move on. I hope you have a lovely day.

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  31. It has been interesting reading all the comments. I too, have trouble understanding why our “dear” politicians in Washington cannot seem to get together on this important subject. This last year, I lost my husband. I was insured along w/ him and we had wonderful coverage. Shortly after his death, I got a letter from the Univ of Texas where he taught for 30 years. telling me that I was no longer covered unless I wanted to pay an astronomical monthly fee to keep the supplemental insurance. I really had no choice but to look for something else – what a nightmare! Of course I wish I had my husband back and my insurance. Every six weeks I go to a podiatrist to have my feet looked at and toenails trimmed. I was shocked to learn how much this costs…therein lies the problem. Medical services are astronomical. There seems to be alot of “greed” going on…somehow costs are skyrocketing and out of control. Why should it cost $287.00 to have toenails clipped – in and out in 15 min. I wish we could find a way to cut the costs and give everyone insurance! In a perfect world I guess. Thanks for your ideas Becky. You do a great job. I like your blog – all subjects welcome!!

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    • Thank you, Nancy. My mom is on day 5 in the hospital and I suspect the costs are well above $30,000. She’s getting good care but the cost is just nuts.

      Here’s a thought on your toenails. My mom gets a pedicure once a month, no polish, just a soak and trim. Donna, her nail tech, used to be a dental hygienist and she is very, very good. She catches problems with mom’s feet before they become a problem AND it’s less expensive that the podiatrist. It’s hard to find someone as good as Donna, but it might be worth a try.

      And I know what you mean about having insurance tied to your husband’s job. I’m in the same boat.

      >

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  32. Let me preface my remarks by first saying that I am not in any way connected to the medical system. It takes me a while to formulate a response and I agree that in a perfect Utopian world, we would all have the same access to health care. Think the old country doctor was probably the best example of this. People paid with whatever they could afford – money or barter for their health care. However, we do not live in a perfect world. All of our systems our controlled by those with wealth and are more motivated by greed. I would like to believe that most people have some sense of altruism, but as a rational observer for many years, I can attest to the fact that most people are motivated by what serves their best interests – not the interests of humanity in general. Also there are far too many people who do not take responsibility for their own health for many reasons. And it doesn’t have to do with money or education. I was married to a well educated man who had had a triple bypass, but did not want to take any responsibility for improving his health in any way and he could have done so. My husband and I watched a friend kill himself with cigarettes and alcohol and also a brother-in-law who would not stop smoking even though he had emphysema which eventually killed him. Government cannot legislate people’s life style choices. We are after all, human. Maybe we do need AI implants to make it all work.

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  33. I am with you! But until Congress both past and present and past and present Presidents are on a single payer system with everyone else, nothing will be done. Canada, England, and Australia as well as other countries all have some sort of universal healthcare. All have problems-we just need to see which plan is best for the American people. But people should not go broke trying to get decent healthcare. And, simple things like selling insurance across state lines and limiting tort claims would help a lot, as well as negotiating with the drug companies on costs. Both my husband and I try to take care of ourselves but we have health issues. And, we do worry about the costs. Obamacare is not the answer for many working Americans. Family and friends are now paying triple what they once were. Its important that everyone take care of themselves. As Trump said, Obamacare is imploding but so far, no one knows what the country will do when it does. I pray a lot for this country.

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  34. Becky, I agree with you. But Congress and the President are more concerned about reelection than they are about doing the jobs they have while they have them. Until they are shocked into caring-I am very scared for our children and grandchildren.

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      • In Illinois OBAMA care is going up 42% it’s a failure. But the politicians on both sides won’t vote to start over. So vote THEM out.

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  35. Older. On Medicare and supplemental. Watching with concern the goings on in DC. Remembering why Medicare even came about – insurance companies would NOT cover older Americans at a rate anyone could afford. Same with Medicaid – those in economic distress could not get access to medical care. Congress is determined to gut Medicaid. If successful, Medicare and Social Security are next on the chopping block. I believe that access to decent medical care is a human right, and that the entire community benefits when this is an implemented reality. As a nation we are far behind other countries, solid “western” democracies, in our disposition of this need. Why? I’m willing to pay a bit more than my own needs might call for so that everyone has health care….I believe that doing so insures that my needs will be met down the road when they exceed my own monthly contribution to the general welfare. I also believe there are many medical professionals who do this work because they believe in it, because it enriches their lives — not as a vehicle to “get rich”. Well, that’s my rant for today. Here’s wishing all of you all that you need when you need it.

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