Saturday, July 11, 2009

Please Do This For Me, I Need Your Help

Please read my story and understand why the issue of health care is so important to me. Please.

If you have not seen Moore's film, Sicko, about the health care debacle that is American insurance, you must.

You can go HERE and watch the entire film. This is a funny and powerful film that touches on every aspect of American health insurance (or not).

Then, go HERE and watch an insurance industry exec, Cigna's self-retired former Vice President of Corporate Communications, Wendell Potter, say that Moore's film was right on in an interview with Bill Moyers.

exposes the insurance companys' campaign to discredit Moore and keep me and tens and tens of millions of people like me untreated, or under-insured. And to cancel people like YOU that have insurance, at least until you need it.

Between the two of the above, I was sobbing. Still am.

Between the two films above, it explains how and why we are in the position we are in and WHY you are not safe: Even if you ARE INSURED. And Moyers discusses the politics of it all.

My Story

What you may not know is that my brother--my ONLY brother and my ONLY sibling, my mother's only son, my sister-in-law's only husband, my niece and and nephews only father--died because his insurance company was "considering" whether he could have a medical test.

During that "consideration" period, my fun, hard-working, creative and wonderful brother climbed into bed, said he did not feel well, and was dead three minutes later.

Had an insurance company not been invovled, my brother would have gone for the test, they would have easily found the problem, and he would have been immediately admitted to a hospital. He wasn't. He's dead.

I had cancer. I am a cancer survivor. I am uninsurable. I have no insurance.

When I get sick or injured, I go to the emergency room. I do my best not to and should have gone more times than I have ever gone. The terrible reality for me is that I am embarassed to ask for help at a hospital. I feel inadequate.

When I broke my arm falling from a wall onto the street, I went to the hospital. They x-rayed my arm, confirmed the break, put it in a sling, and gave me a few names of doctors to go to.

The next day, I called the doctors. They didn't take payments. I ended up calling EVERY orthopedist in Orange County and every clinic. Not one would take payments.

I left my arm in a sling. It took me almost two years to get my left arm to heal on its own and get mobility back.

When I had severe chest pains, I drove myself to the hospital. They confirmed I had had a a heart event but didn't understand exactly what had happened. They wanted me to stay in the hospital at least overnight for more tests, but because I was uninsured (I was working full time for a small company who did not offer it and I did not make enough to pay for ANY insurance that a company would offer given my cancer history), I ended up being sent home with a prescription for nitroglycerin and a warning that given where I live, if I had a serious event then or in the future, I would die.

I remain undiagnosed, and untreated. I was in the hospital for perhaps four hours. The bill was $5K. I could not pay the bill.

Those of you with insurance paid for me. That's the rip. You are ALREADY paying for health care for the uninsured, but at the highest rate possible.

Who knows how long my feet will walk this beautiful earth. I love this place. I have spent the majority of my adult life defending this beautiful place, paid, and mostly not. I have no interest in being dead. None. I am only 55. My brother died at 52. My mom is 95 and on Medicare and gets wonderful care. I know--I am with her at every appointment.

This post IS about me. This post is to ask for your help.

When you understand what is possible, and what is involved with an American health care option (or best, and cheapest) single payer health care, you will not be so afraid. And if YOU have health care insurance, you will understand YOU are not safe under the current system.

Please, for me, your friend, will you help? Will you watch the Moore film and listen to Potter talk about the insurance industry and admit that his very company, Cigna, targeted Moore's film out of fear of the truth?

Every few days I post a call list for particular states and for all states to influence politicians who are receiving obscene amounts of money to stop any form of national health care. These are calls to politicians who hold MY LIFE in their hands, and yours as well. Will you please help me--and yourselves--by making these calls?

Don't be shy. Remember, our Congress members have the best insurance in the land and we foot the tab. Shouldn't we have the same option?

I am, literally, one of the least of these. As uncomfortable for me it is to ask for help, I am asking--begging, really--for your help.

Will you help me? And if you are not willing, will you at least tell me why you won't help me, Cany?

I can take the hits.

I cannot take not knowing why people are unwilling to help. And I cannot understand why anyone would feel that calling your elected officials is, somehow, "someone else's" job.