Friday, March 16, 2007

An American Life

In 1996, my husband was diagnosed as needing an organ transplant, but he was still in the early stages and was very healthy. In fact we had no idea he was even ill, he felt and looked as healthy as a horse. He took care of himself, didn't drink or smoke. We were told it could take three or four years for his name to reach the top of the list and get the transplant, but there were no guarantees. They are very straightforward with you. They also tell you that if you lose your health insurance and do not get on medicare or medicaid, you will be removed from the transplant waiting list.

In 2000 my husband's employer found out about my husband's condition and started harassing him. Even being a union worker did not help protect him from this. He withstood it for about ten months, by which time he was diagnosed with severe depression brought about by the fear of what losing his job and health insurance would bring. I took the Family and Medical leave act to care for him, during this brief time Fleet was taken over by Bank of America (none of the workers saw this coming) and my job was lost due to downsizing. My husband was terminated in 2001.

Read the rest of the story here. While anecdotal, it shows once again why we need a national health care system for America. The referenced responsive post is a heartbreaking story of one middle class family that lost it all due to an illness that was treatable, but due to the American business culture (fire workers when they get sick), an American family lost everything. This kind of story is the natural result of tying access to health care on employment.

Think about it: a system that would allow someone who needs a organ transplant to be taken off the list because they have no health insurance. The scenario should never happen. It is inhumane. We should not have a system where someone can lose their health insurance. Health care should be a human right.

BTW: I should say that I have signed the card to be an organ donor. There is always a shortage of organs available for organ transplants. So please sign an organ donor card. I think that you can do it at any tag agency here in Oklahoma or in many states' Department of Motor Vehicles.

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