Wednesday, January 20

Time to Play the Life or Death Card on Health Care

During the furious debate over Health Care which has raged all year - two different arguments have been presented. Those opposed from the right have argued that Health Reform will "Kill Grandma" or lead to Rationing - although all actually evidence and every version of the pending legislation shows the opposite - while those opposed from the left have been arguing that it won't bring down costs and expenses without a public option to compete with private insurance companies.

The reason this impasse has continued is because both arguments are missing the most crucial and essential truth:

Health Reform Will Save Lives.

We need to be prepared to point a cold icy finger at all those who oppose reform and say - "You're Killing Americans"

The rabid cries about "Death Panels" within either the reimbursement for end of life counseling or Rationing via the Medicare Advisory Panel as put forth by the likes of Sarah Palin are bogus.

Despite her blather the CBO says...

Advisory Board proposals "shall not include any recommendation to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits." From Section 3403 of the Senate health care bill,

They're LYING about Death Panels, but the truth is that Health Reform isn't simply an issue of "who pays for it" - it really is a Life or Death issue.

It's not really more complicated than that. Between all the wrangling and sausage making, the bottom line point is that over 40 Million Americans do not have Health Insurance, and that according to the Harvard University Study about 1/10 of 1% of those people - or 45,000 per year - DIE as a result of insufficient or late care.

"The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors, and baseline health," said lead author Andrew Wilper, M.D., who currently teaches at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease — but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications."

The study, which analyzed data from national surveys carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assessed death rates after taking into account education, income, and many other factors, including smoking, drinking, and obesity. It estimated that lack of health insurance causes 44,789 excess deaths annually.

So far only Rep. Alan Grayson has been willing to throw down this guantlet when he said the Republican Health Care Plan was for people without insurance to Die Quickly.

There are plenty of charts and graphs one can throw at this which show that on average the quality of American Health Care ranks somewhere around that of Uzbekistan, while our costs are literally through the roof - taking up over 15% of our national GDP.

We've all heard the stories about long wait times - well I can tell you from direct experience that the when you're uninsured in the U.S. the wait times are pretty damn long too. For example my wife had to wait 18 months after falling down a flight of stairs before getting an MRI of her back. Once they did it they found that the reason for her debilitating pain was that a piece of bone was now pressing against spinal cord threatening to sever it.

A fact which they didn't even bother to tell us until 2 months after the MRI, now 20 months after the accident. And this was a Harbor UCLA Medical Center In Los Angeles, imagine what it's like for people in Kansas.

So the Tea Baggers want to walk around with pictures of the Holocaust and Obama as Hitler?

We need to respond with the fact that We're already having a Holocaust in this Country!

45,000 people a year. That's more than twice the number of Murders that occurs every year in this country. If we saw our friends, family and fellow Americans dying in the streets at that rate, what would be willing to spend to stop it? What did we spend after we lost 4,000 people at 9-11? If health care is delayed until the next congress, that's 90,000 dead. If it's delayed until the next President that's 180,000 dead - nearly as many as are estimated to have just died in the Haiti earthquake.

Anyone who suggested that we should curtail or limit aid to the Haiti because of the cost - while Lives are on the Line - should be shamed right off the planet.

We should have the same attitude about those without Health Care or who are likely to have their claims denied. We should have the same sense of urgency the same sense of dire need because the situation is exactly the same.

But we aren't sending the Marines to aid of American's without Health Care. We aren't sending them food, water, shelter or Doctors without Borders in emergency inflatable Hospitals. We're leaving all those people to DIE alone, out in the cold without a chance at Life.

If they have those pictures we should have pictures of Eric De La Cruz who died after his application to gain access to a "Government Run" health system - aka Medicare - was denied.

Eventually a judge approved Eric's application to Medicare - but because of the delay in the meantime, he DIED.

Or this girl Nataline Saryysian whose Liver transplant was denied by Cigna.

GLENDALE, Calif. - The family of a 17-year-old girl who died hours after her health insurer reversed a decision and said it would pay for a liver transplant plans to sue the company, their attorney said Friday.

Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday at about 6 p.m. at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.

Attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against Cigna HealthCare in the case. The insurer "maliciously killed her" because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said.

There's you're RATIONING Right there. When i said that "Death Panels" are Real and their called the "Insurance Industry" on Sarah Palin's Facebook Page - She Banned Me.

They don't want to know the truth.

After Nataline died her mother Hilda with support from the California Nurses Association went to Cigna headquarters to confront them on their treatment of her.. where they Laughed and Flipped her the Bird.

Surrounded by supporters, Hilda Sarkisyan marched into Cigna Corp.’s Philadelphia headquarters on a chilly fall day, 10 months after the company refused to pay for a liver transplant for her daughter.

"You guys killed my daughter," the diminutive San Fernando Valley real estate agent declared at the lobby security desk. "I want an apology."

What she got was something quite different.

Cigna employees, looking down into the atrium lobby from a balcony above, began heckling her, she said, with one of them giving her "the finger."

Sarkisyan walked out, stunned and hurt.

"They showed me their true colors," she said. "Shame on them."

This is who these people are, this is who we're fighting with. Greedy Heartless Bastards. it should be a surprise though, as was shown in SiCKO profits and Money is all the Health insurance Industry Cares about.

We need to fix our eye on the prize - and that's Saving Lives. We may honestly disagree about the need for a Public Option Right Now or the pain of paying an Excise Tax, but what we can't lose sight of is all the lives dangling in the balance.

If they have to ram the Senate Bill through Congress (which right now I'd prefer) or use Reconciliation in the Senate to push through bill more like the House's (except we'd have to depend on the Senate Parliamentarian to determine what stays in and what goes) after the defeat of Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy's seat last night - They NEED TO GET THIS DONE.

Sooner rather than later.

For all the other Eric De La Cruz's and Nataline Sarkisian's out there. For my wife whose looking not very optimistically at the prospect of spinal surgery.

This needs to happen. We can play musical chairs with the money later, but our first priority has to be protecting and preserving the quality of life for Americans.

Otherwise what are are we fighting for - who picks up the check?


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