Universal Health Care

September 11th, 2001

Ok so I know what your thinking. But just give me a few minutes to explain myself. I’m sure you all know, that my dad went to 9/11. He volunteered his time, his K9 unit, and will ultimately donate his life to the cause. Of course right now, he’s doing ok. He’s getting by.

He has constant pain in his neck from an old work injury…or that is putting it lightly, he broke his neck and is currently using a metal bracket and 6 metal screws to hold his neck in place. He has a constant cough and battles depression on a daily bases. He has nightmares and struggles to pay his way in life.

Yes, he volunteered his time. He knew what he was getting in to prior to going to 9/11 and putting his health in jeopardy.

But after watching a documentary about Guantanamo Bay, I was appalled to tears and knew then that every day that ticks by, I’m losing my dad, minute by minute. Guantanamo Bay houses some of the most deadliest terrorist of the world as well as some of the major masterminds behind 9/11. Congress was on TV ranting and raving about how the detainees are receiving top notch medical treatment and their facility is stocked with the latest medical machines out on the market.

And yet, my dad coughs up blood and can barely walk from breathing because he doesn’t have health insurance. Because he can’t afford it and even if he could, no insurance company would cover him because of a “pre-existing condition”. He has friends and clients who have access to K9 antibiotics. If his infection acts up, he takes his dog’s medication. He rationalizes this as “being just as good”. He went to the ER and left after 4 hours of waiting. Why? He can give you a million good excuses but being his daughter I know it’s 1 of 3 reasons…or all of them. #1 He can’t afford the ER bill  #2 They will find something that they can’t cure or fix #3 He got tired of waiting.

Any of these reasons shouldn’t be allowed. This man saved lives, this man joined the Army years before any attack. Joined because he loves his country. Volunteered because he wanted to help his country and fellow American’s. But where is his country now? where are the fellow American’s now? They’ve all turned their backs on him. And the sad part is, there were so many who volunteered that fateful day. Don’t you think this country could pass a simple bill and give everyone Universal Health Care and help the people who are protecting the “common folk”.

Until then, I vow from this day forward, I will cherish every conversation, every minute that I get to spend with him. Because I know, he won’t be around as long as he is supposed to.

Note: The documentary I watched, “Sicko” by Michael Moore

6 thoughts on “Universal Health Care

  1. Alena,

    So, I checked out your blog to see what you have to say….This post really surprised me. Even the replies surprised me. I have to start by saying I am for a version of Universal Health Care, but I think everyone should pay something. I’m not going to say anything negative about your Dad, after all he is my uncle. But… I think he could be doing a lot for himself that he doesn’t do. You mention that he went to 9/11 and you mention that he coughs up blood but you failed to mention that he also has smoked everyday for what 30+ years now, or how about poor life style choices. I think people need to take some personal responsibility for their health. People shouldn’t be able to drink until they need a new liver and than get put on the top of the donor list because they have such bad health.

    As far as health care I have it through my employer and have co-pays to see the doctor as well but that isn’t going to stop me from going if I need to. If he really wanted to get well I’m sure there are options out there like welfare or If he can’t work there is always social security disability. The VA could be an option, like you said he was in the military too. I just don’t want to see people sit around and say poor me. The country did this to me and then left me hanging out to dry.

    The comment about “That’s not what America was built on”. In my opinion that couldn’t be further from the truth. If he can work and the problem is he can’t find work then he can always move, retrain into a new career field etc… That is what America was built on. People didn’t just wait, they had innovation and determination.

    I hope this doesn’t sound like I have a cold heart but in my opinion if he wanted to get well he could, if you want more you can work hard and go out and get it. After all this is America and people are still breaking down the “walls” to get their chance at the American dream.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and even more time to comment. It means the world to me. My blog is to get people thinking from the other side rather then the side they are used too.

      I completely understand what your saying. Smoking, lifestyle choices, have left him where he is. But when he left the world trade center, immediately he started having health issues that were never issues before. I’m no doctor but common sense could mean one of two things. Either it’s from smoking or it’s from whatever he was exposed too.

      His neck injury prevents him from doing a lot of things, his age prevents him even further, but his own self-will prevents him from much more.

      I will be the first to say, that I love my dad dearly, but the rare life experiences, (3 children in heaven, the world trade center, breaking his neck) that he’s had to deal with, has left him with depression, which he should be seeing a doctor for but chooses not too.

      I am much like you, working and getting insurance through my work, paying my co-pays etc. I don’t think there is such a thing as free. Health care should work like a credit card. A running balance, paid out of your paycheck based on your income. or whatever the college trained people can come up with, but by no means am I saying it should be free. It’s going to cost something to someone. But not getting QUALITY care is what i’m after.

      There should never be a choice of, “Hmmm I can only save one of the two fingers I cut off by accident. Which one can I afford to save?”

      The American Dream will always be just that, a dream. America was built on freedom of choice, some choose not to choose and to whaller as the southern’s call it. Sit in self pitty and whine about the injustice. I’m for trying to figure it out so its fair.

  2. Yes dear Alena
    I saw that show too awhile back. If you are American. Then this should total pisses you off and yes it pissed me off and hurt me too. For that same token is why my Mom wouldent go to the DR. She could not afford the heath Insurane for her self after my father retired. After working for the same place for 40 years. Thats a shame too 40 years. Because she is dead now, from a body that was full of cancer, who knows how long she had it or were it came from we will never know. But now my hard working father is spending his retirement with out his life partner. We have the best heath care in the world and our owen people cant afford it…. So what good is it. Its only for the powerful and the rich and thats not what AMERICA WAS BUILT ON………………

    1. Your right. I completely agree. And it pains me to watch my family be torn apart because of health ailments. I have a good paying job that offers a very decent health care plan and yet, even for a full time working person, I can’t afford normal routine health exams.

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