The United States has long had the most advanced and powerful and well-funded military in the history of the world. Our quality of life is unparallelled, as is our consumption of resources, as is the availability of those resources. However, our health care system is ranked #37 in the world. The other 36 countries ranked above us are not as wealthy nor as powerful as we are. But the difference between us and them is that they provide health care for their citizens, and see health care as a human right, not a for-profit industry.
Just to put this in perspective, 44,000 people die EVERY YEAR in this country, the richest, most powerful country in the world, because health care is not a right.
Now, this note will require some small participation from you. Don't worry, I'm not asking you to call your congressmen and senators and tel them to push for a single payer system, although that'd be nice. I just want you to watch a few short videos.
I want you to tell all of these people below, who could only get health care through a free clinic that happened to be open in their town for a few days, that health care shouldn't be a right. That they should only be able to have health care if they have enough money. That it's perfectly okay for health insurance CEOs to get hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses while they have to pray not to get sick, because a hospital visit would bankrupt them.
Watch these videos of these people. Then tell them that.
Here are people waiting in line to get some sort of care at a clinic that is already above capacity even for those who have made appointments.
Victoria Moss, who was laid off from Citibank. She doesn't want a handout, just a mammogram.
Rand Hodson is a cardiac patient with no insurance.
Nicole Abel has type 1 diabetes and no insurance.
Carol Dale is a working-class American who simply can't afford the insurance premium for herself, nor her daughter.
Gina Williams works for Hilton Hotels, and has three children. One of those children has state insurance, but the other two have no coverage. Her mother has unaffordable junk insurance.
Diandria Pigese lost her job and her health coverage.
Diandra Owens had been suffering excruciating pain from a tooth that needed to be pulled, but she couldn't afford a trip to the dentist.
Diane Smith lost her job, her health insurance, had unaffordable insurance, and no health care. She hadn't been able to see a doctor in SEVEN YEARS before the free clinic.
Dennis Cahill had two heart attacks with no medication. And he is uninsured.
Natasha Stevenson has three kids who need dental care. One was a 7 year-old who had never been to a dentist.
Kayla: "I have cavities."
Eve: "Why didn't they get filled?"
Kayla: "We didn't have the money."
Sara Clark lost her job. She got a new one, but that job doesn't have health coverage.
Keith Hitchcock is an amputee without health insurance, who needs a prosthesis.
Little Rock, Arkansas resident Oneida Whiteside had a stroke. Her health insurance company dropped her coverage.
Cindy Howell is from Dallas, Texas. She drove 5 hours to the free clinic in Arkansas to get free health care. She's put herself into $30,000 worth of credit card debt solely because of her insurance premiums. Tell her that she doesn't have a right to health care.
59 year-old Frank Wood visited the Little Rock free clinic to get treated for his hernia. His job is very physically demanding, and he has no health insurance. Before the free clinic, he had to labor with a hernia.
Meet Michelle and Sheila. Michelle is jobless and needs health care for a medical problem she doesn't want to disclose. Her friend, Sheila, has heart problems, fibromyalgia, and needs a hip replacement. She is also without health insurance.
The 120,000 square-foot convention center that held the free clinic couldn't accommodate everyone in Kansas City, even at its size.
The Kansas City clinic ran all day, morning to evening. At 5 PM, this was the line. These people would have to be turned away.
This is the check out, where they also give free blankets. Free blankets for Americans who lost their jobs, who don't have homes, who may have to sleep on the streets.
This is ALL happening in the USA, the greatest, richest, most powerful country in the world. These people aren't welfare queens or trailer trash or any of the things the FOX news anchors would like us to believe. They're regular, hard-working Americans who are victims of a system that believes in profit before people.
Tell them all that they don't have a right to health care. Tell them that they deserve to suffer until they have the money to fork over to the corporate fat cats who run the private insurance industry.
Tell them that.
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8 years ago