Minimalism + Compassion = Healthcare for All

SMART Living



I usually stay away from politics here on SMART Living, but for an obvious reason healthcare is on my mind this week.  But let me be clear, I don’t think that healthcare is or should be a political issue.  Instead, our health and its care are two issues that touch every single human on the planet—including those of us who practice simple living or minimalism.  Unfortunately, with all the blogs I follow—everything from minimalism to personal growth to spirituality—no one seems to be talking about this very all-encompassing concern.  So, hopefully, by bringing this important subject out into the light we can recognize how vital it is and arrive at more conscious, aware and responsible actions for our future.  

I think one big reason we don’t like to talk about health and its care is because we don’t really want to think about it.  Like another one of those big elephants in our living room, by pretending it doesn’t apply to us we can tiptoe around it and hope it will go away.  When I was younger that was definitely my modus operandi.  Because Thom and I were self-employed we did not have health care until  we hit age 40.  The truth was we didn’t feel we had the money to pay for it—and just like most people under 40 today, we hoped by not thinking about it, nothing bad would happen.   Oh sure we ate pretty well, exercised and maintained a reasonable weight—but behind those actions and our denial of the issue, we were living unconsciously and acting as if we were the two humans on Earth that would never, ever get sick.

We were fortunate.  Luckily nothing bad did happen to us.  We didn’t have children to consider so that made it even easier.  But when we hit 40 we started observing others around us who occasionally had health issues and we knew the odds were against us.  Even better, our finances had improved making it possible.  Just a few short years later I was hit with my first serious health issue and with an operation and with the two hospital visits that followed, the total cost came out over $100,000+.  A couple of years later I was involved in a motorcycle accident and clearing that up cost around $60,000.  Obviously if we had not had health insurance to pay the majority of it, we would have been saddled with overwhelming debt and/or declared bankruptcy.  Like I said, we got lucky.

However, please understand that I am not a fan of the health insurance industry.  We started our current Blue Shield HSA PPO health plan in 2003  (yep, just ten years ago) with a hefty deductible and a premium of $218 per month for both of us.  Doesn’t sound too bad right?  Unfortunately, our premiums are now $727 a month, our deductibles have risen to $7,000 per year, and our benefits have been gradually diminished.   Obviously I have aged 10 years so that affects every premium, but on the price chart for 2003, rates for my current age group were only $365.  In other words, accounting for the same age, insurance rates like mine have over doubled in cost.  And remember—that is just 10 years!

What’s funny (in a sad sort of way) is that we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to pay monthly rates that are more than many people earn all month in wages.  We also consider ourselves fortunate that we have insurance.  Several years ago when I became alarmed at the dramatic increases in premiums I started shopping around for different insurance.  That’s when I found out we couldn’t switch because I had been diagnosed with a risky condition and no other insurance would have me.  It didn’t matter that that condition was mis-diagnosed and that it took me nearly 5 years to get it removed—just like millions of other Americans I was unable to switch insurance companies due to a pre-existing condition.  A person shouldn’t have to rely on luck to know their medical bills will be covered.

In case you’re wondering, I’m also not a big fan of the medical industry in general.  I agree that doctors are too quick to prescribe pills, tests and operations when prevention can and probably should be the first option.   I also agree that we are all each individually responsible for taking care of ourselves.   Eating right, maintaining our weight, taking care of our bodies, and health prevention of all types are all part of the package.  But as a teacher named Ernest Holmes once wrote, “If you need an aspirin, take an aspirin.”  Conversely, if you need a doctor it is sure nice to know one is available and that you can afford to pay for her.  Unfortunately, not all of us have that option.

What my example shows and anyone who has read anything about the current health care crisis in our country already knows, our country is facing a “systems problem.”  While most of us in the U.S. consider our county to be a world leader, we are terrible at something as fundamental as the right to basic health care for our citizens.  We pay 50% more than any other country in the world for every single health care need—and unfortunately the quality of that care ranks somewhere between 38th and 46th world wide.   My country does so many things right—why is this so wrong?

Why have things gotten so bad?  Fortunately there is lots of information available and I will post several links at the bottom of this post to help for those who want details.  But in a nutshell, it’s bad because it’s all about the money.  For example a stay in a U.S. hospital is over 60% more expensive than six other top industrialized countries.  A visit to a doctor, specialist and even a dentist is 2 ½ times more than those same comparative countries.  Pharmaceutical prices are at least 60% higher than five of the largest countries in Europe for 50 of the most common drugs.  The evidence is pretty clear—we pay way more—and don’t even get the same quality.

So if something is badly broken it needs to be fixed.  My belief is that the current plan, “Patient Protection & Affordable Health Care” is just one tiny step in the right direction.  Is it perfect?  Sadly no.  It is full of problems and I can understand why many are upset.  But something has to be done and we might as well get the ball rolling.  In 10 years my “reasonable” health insurance doubled—if it doubles again how can anyone afford it?  Changes clearly need to happen and we can’t make this a political issue.  This is a quality of life issue.

So why should you care?  If you are healthy now and/or have insurance, why work to change the system?  Because eventually, should you be fortunate enough to live that long, it will affect either you or someone you love.  It may be very hard for you to imagine right now that it is important, but trust me on this one, you want to make sure that you and your loved ones have access to quality health care when you need it.  The time to take steps to cure this health care systems problem is now—not when you are in pain, not when your child is denied an operation, not when you watch a loved one dying.  Now.

Minimalism and simple living talks a lot about getting rid of excess stuff.  What I seldom see them explore is how health, and access to medicine and care is something that touches our lives deeply.  We are all connected in visible and invisible ways and eventually there is something that will touch the rich man and the poor man equally.  We are not going to get out alive.  The stress of wondering how you might take care of yourself and your family as time goes by, and the exorbitant costs now necessary to do it, make it difficult to live a simple and happy life for millions of our fellow Americans.  The only way this will change is if enough of us say, “Enough!” and demand that changes be made.  There are plenty of solutions—the only thing holding us back is a belief by far too many of us—that it will never happen to us.


A few resources:





Filed under Aware, Responsible, Thankful

37 Responses to Minimalism + Compassion = Healthcare for All

  1. Iva Lourdes

    Thank you for sharing your insights on this subject. I believe if people in this country would be less selfish and greedy, we would go a long way for every aspect of our lives and society as a whole. If we think about how the Founding Fathers established this country and what principles they founded it on, that should inspire us to live up to those principles.

  2. Amen and say it all again so everyone understands. Our country has the ability and the know how to give basic health care and preventative medical care to every man woman and child, however, the insurance industry is fighting tooth and nail to keep the status quo, and keep costs up. The pharmaceutical industry is no better.

    I, also, am glad to have been healthy most of my life with no major illnesses or injuries requiring hospitalization, but at the age of 56, soon to be 57 my luck may be running out. I have to find affordable insurance or a job that provides at least basic coverage.

    • Hi Lydia! Thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree that there is a HUGE push, even after the passing of ACA, to take away our rights to all have health coverage in our country. While insurance is still very expensive, and I hope that can change in the future, I am happy to see so many people now getting coverage. May all of our health continue to be good so that we don’t need it–but it’s really nice to know it’s there if the time comes. ~Kathy

  3. Thank you for sharing your insights on this topic. I’ll go with Scott. I also believe that if people in this country would be less selfish and greedy, we would go a long way for every aspect of our lives and society as a whole. It is something that people has to learn. Your post is awesome.

    • Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by SMART Living and leaving a comment. Yes, as both you and Scott say, the more of us who can avoid being selfish and greedy, the better for each of us individually, our country and the world. Glad you liked the post. ~Kathy

  4. Thank you for sharing your insights on this subject. I believe if people in this country would be less selfish and greedy, we would go a long way for every aspect of our lives and society as a whole. If we think about how the Founding Fathers established this country and what principles they founded it on, that should inspire us to live up to those principles.

    • Hi Scott! Thank you for stopping by SMART Living and sharing your thoughts. I think you can guess I completely agree with you about how great it would be for our country and each of us individually if we could focus more on helping and supporting one another. But I think it is actually rather difficult to know whether the Founding Fathers were true examples of their own vision of what is possible. All we can do is strive to live up to the highest ideas we can embrace and live accordingly. Thanks again for your thoughts! ~Kathy

  5. Hi Kathy, Jenni is right. We have a public healthcare system in Australia that we can be proud of. Naturally, there can be long waiting periods for various types of surgery or treatment; however we have numerous incentives to ‘cover’ ourselves. For example, we can own life insurance policies within our superannuation (retirement accounts), which allow the costs of insurance cover to be paid from retirement savings, rather than from personal cash flow. I think governments around the world should provide more incentives for individuals to obtain ‘private’ cover to minimise the burden on the government.
    Chris Strano recently posted…SG 49 | Maximum Salary Sacrifice into SuperMy Profile

    • Hi Chris! Thank you for stopping by SMART Living and sharing your perspective on this. I think it is so important that those of us in the U.S. see that there are really great examples of good care around the world that we can copy or at least learn from. While there has been a bit of progress with the ACA in recent months, it is still far from being “fixed” and we are all just hoping that we can move forward from here rather than be pulled backwards by those who are actively trying to do that. I agree that health care does not have to be a burden on the government but feel it also should not be an overwhelming burden on its citizens as well. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for our future. Thanks again for your input. ~Kathy

  6. Kathy, you did a great job in covering the problems with our medical establishment and the problems of the insurance industry as we know it. I was born with Muscular Dystrophy and a non-functioning kidney. As a result I have pre-existing conditions which prevent me from buying my own insurance or life insurance.

    As a child and young adult I was on nearly constant medications and frequent hospital stays. Yet I found out purely by accident I could have avoided all this had someone actually informed me of the options. With the kidney, all I had to do was switch to a vegetarian diet to avoid the problems. I did just that at age 24 and have not needed either medication or a hospital stay since. All that suffering for nothing!

    There are a lot of problems with the Affordable Care Act that I have trouble with. First, my son was forced to resign (which turned into a retirement) which left him with no steady income and no insurance for himself and his family. The idea of forcing him to pay for insurance when he has no current income would be detrimental to his getting back on his feet. Secondly, there are things that are being removed from coverage to cut costs which are fundamental.

    As you probably figured out since I could not buy insurance I had to apply for Medicare. I can no longer walk more than a step or two with assistance, and due to my disability can not operate a manual wheelchair. They are now cutting out all funding for electric chairs and the upkeep they used to cover. My attitude at this point is that our government is willing to spend the money on wars for all sorts of reasons but unwilling to help people like me who can’t get to their kitchen or bathroom without the necessary equipment. We have a long way to go to make this insurance program fit the basic needs of the people and to be affordable to most. Recent news states that your credit score will be used to determine what you will be required to pay. What does your credit score have to do with your medical needs?
    Lois recently posted…Growing FamilyMy Profile

    • Hi Lois…thank you again for sharing your perspective. It sounds like you have plenty of real world experience to throw into the mix. Thank goodness that Medicaid exists in some form although I agree it is deplorable that services are being cut….and would most likely be cut regardless of the AHCA were in place. Hopefully through time, that trend can be reversed and services added rather than taken away.

      But I thought that I read that if you were unemployed or without any income to pay, you qualify for a form of medicaid until you get on your feet. (speaking about your son) Then if you only make a low amount, you will receive a tax-credit to offset much of the cost. Did you read something different? I know that quite a few states have opted out of the AHCA and in the case their state will not qualify to receive the federal benefits offered and the medicaid aid–but that of course is the fault of greedy politicians.

      So I completely agree that when anyone starts arguing that good health care costs too much, we need to remind them that the government finds plenty of money to fund wars and offer subsidies to big corporations like Monsanto. It’s time for us all to insist that good healthcare be available to us all.

      It is my understanding that insurance companies have been using credit scores as one of the items they evaluate to determine whether to accept someone for insurance and how much they pay. The information they collect might affect the premium…but that is the insurance companies…not the government. Luckily they can no longer use preexisting conditions. This is just one of the atrocities that insurance companies (as big business) have been able to take advantage of the public. It is my sincere hope that our healthcare will evolve into something that limits the insurance companies dramatically.

      Here is a website to figure the subsidies for those making a very low income.

      Thank you again for your comments…hopefully a year or so from now we can have some happy stories about improvements to the health care act…but I believe a big part of what happens next will be determined by the next couple of elections. ~Kathy

  7. Mike C Smith

    Hi Kathy
    I read your article with a great deal of interest. I’m fortunate I live in New Zealand and we have a great public health system. I don’t pay a cent for any of my hospital treatments and I’ve been going several times recently.
    I’ve been trying to understand what the big fuss is about over Obanacare and the shut down of the Federal government. It’s a conflict that affects the world, not just the US.
    I could never understand why a rich country like yours has nearly 50 million people on the poverty line and why you don’t have a decent health system, when so many other countries do who are less well off.
    I was impressed with your article and have shared it with two of my social networks. keep up the writing. Kind regards

    • Hi Mike! Thank you for stopping by SMART Living and sharing your perspective. Yes indeed you are fortunate to live in New Zealand and not have to be stressed out about how you or your loved ones will get needed health care. It is definitely a sad reflection on our country. Obviously we know how to create and support business very well–which isn’t necessarily bad–but when it comes at such a cost to our citizens it isn’t good.

      The shut-down, IMHO represents another failing of our current system in that politicians are battling over control of our policies and ignoring the people they represent. Of course that isn’t necessarily new to our country–but it is tragic whenever and where ever it occurs. Rather than serving the people who elected them, they appear to serve the corporations or special interest groups that donate money to their campaigns to be re-elected. And yes, they also seem hell-bent on dividing our country rather than working to bring us together. Again, I don’t think the U.S. is alone in some of these actions–and most of the people if you talk to them (at least those who have a compassionate and open mind) are as bewildered as you about current events.

      The only good thing that may come out of this mess is that people wake up and do not re-elect some of these crazy conservatives so that we can get our country back on course. While I obviously support The Affordable HealthCare Act–it’s far from perfect. Hopefully it is just one tiny step in the right direction.

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, and thank you for sharing this and other posts with some of your networks. ~Kathy

  8. Laronda

    I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your post. You have summed up my own feelings on the matter–but put it far more compellingly and gracefully than I could have. I dearly hope my own young children don’t have to worry about helping their parents cover health expenses as my husband and I worry about helping our own parents while also supporting our children. We’re a teaching family, and one of the biggest reasons we’ve seen others leave the field is the combination of low pay and ever-worsening health coverage. One or the other would be challenging; the combination is driving many dedicated and talented people from teaching and other public service fields. I know the ACA is just a first step and will invariably have problems, but it is certainly better than accepting the status quo.

    • Hi Laronda…thank you so much for your comments and perspective on this issue. As I said in the post I was fortunate that I didn’t have to worry about children in all this mix….I can’t imagine how difficult that must be –just the pressure of it–and then if you have a child that has a medical condition and dealing with all that–it breaks my heart thinking about it. But I did have parents that were living on SS and and I am so grateful that they had medicare…but they didn’t have any added coverage and that too–as you say–is another worry. From all the comments I’ve gotten here and on other message boards it seems to me that women grasp this issue pretty well…young men seem to have the hardest. Still, if we all work together and speak up, I am hopeful for positive changes. Thanks again for taking the time to make your heartfelt comment. It is definitely appreciated. ~Kathy

  9. Elisabeth

    So why should you care? If you are healthy now and/or have insurance, why work to change the system? Because eventually, should you be fortunate enough to live that long, it will affect either you or someone you love.

    My husband died last year at the age of 43 from a rare form of cancer. His employer terminated our health insurance six months into his treatment. While we were both out of work, him due to illness and me on leave, due to the fact that he required round-the-clock care for the last four months of his life, we were shelling out $1500 a month to insure ourselves and our children through COBRA. I have a job. I’ve had the same job for the last 12 years, but I am an independent contractor and so health insurance is not an option through my employer(s). I am not poor enough for Medicaid and am slowly going broke paying for private insurance. It’s scary.

    • Hi Elisabeth. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us how this has affected your personally. First off, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Going through such an experience is definitely hard enough without having to struggle to find the money for adequate care for our loved ones. And as an independent contractor like you I know that the current system makes it incredibly difficult for those of us trying to just make our business pay and take care of our families too. Add in the problem about pre-existing conditions and you really have heartbreak. I am so hoping that the new health care system helps take some of that load off you very soon and that we (the people of the U.S.) collectively keep working so that what you went through doesn’t happen to others. Maybe sometime in the future we will be able to say that we are so proud of both our country and the people of our country for INSISTING that this problem be fixed to the benefit of our citizens. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. ~Kathy

  10. Hi Kathy and thanks for speaking out about something that is near and dear to us all. When I was 24 – way back before Obamacare so I was no longer covered by my parents – my dad purchased an individual health policy for me through Blue Cross. It turned out to be likely the best money he ever spent. When I was 26 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins and for the next year went through various operations and radiation treatment and recovery. The bill without insurance would have been catastrophic. I have been a big believer since then and am a proponent of insurance for all, somehow, some way.
    Dave Bernard recently posted…How to Look Fabulous at FiftyMy Profile

    • Hi Dave…thanks for joining the conversation and adding your perspective. Thank goodness that your parents had health insurance and were able to cover you! When you don’t need health insurance or don’t know anyone personally who does–it’s far too easy to think that it doesn’t apply to me! But once you’ve faced what you went through there is usually something deep inside that knows that you would never wish that on anyone–regardless–and especially children!!! I think there is definitely a number of examples around the world of how it is possible–what holds us back is the will of the people. Hopefully that is changing big time so that we can work on this important issue and really make a difference! ~Kathy

  11. Jenni

    Hi Kathy,
    I enjoyed your post, it is so interesting to me living in Australia to observe this situation happening in America. I don’t have ‘private’ cover at present but we have such an overall good public system that I am ok with that, I know if I or my children need a doctor or hospital we can get it without paying a cent and that is such a comfort (similar to the UK where we pay through our taxes to cover health care).

    • Hi Jenni….thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation. And I really appreciate you offering your perspective as an Australian because I think it is valuable for us to all recognize that we are part of a larger global family and what happens here AND there touches each of us to lesser and more major ways. As I said in the post I think our country does some things VERY well but this isn’t one of them. One would think that if you did pay such larger amounts for healthcare that the quality would be commensurate. And another big piece of the puzzle is that we have a large number of people who are NIMBY’s (which stands for not-in-my-back-yard!) which applies to all sort of things INCLUDING healthcare. But I honestly believe that most people, even if they fall in the NIMBY category are kind and compassionate when they see others in front of them in great need. However, with such a LARGE country like ours we end up feeling disconnected and scrambling for whatever we can get (a big part of the scarcity issue again!). Anyway, thanks for sharing that Australia is operating very well with your system and that it is possible when the citizens make it so! ~Kathy

  12. Born in Scotland all I can say on this topic is I don’t understand it at all. My mum during her illness before her passing had the most amazing care, from her doctor, nurses and carers all from the much maligned national health care system.

    We were all truly grateful for the love and comfort and support that she and we received. ‘Nuff said.
    Elle recently posted…4 Simple Techniques For Achieving AnythingMy Profile

    • Hi Elle… Thanks for sharing a perspective from Scotland! As I’ve said in the posts above I am certain that other countries have to be scratching their heads and wondering what on Earth is going on with the U.S…..Of course, that is assuming that they don’t already know that most of our problems come from our cultures obsession with profit and money at any cost. Good doctors and nurses always make a difference with health care of course–but without access and the constant worry of how to pay for them–Americans are suffering. I hope we can “cure” this issue soon. Thanks always for your perspective! ~Kathy

  13. karen

    I hope you get a lot more new subscribers due to your article!!
    Lets send the right intention into this issue – love and kindness – respect and dignity – that a country will care for its sick and look after the vulnerable.
    Keep up the good work Kathy.

    • Hi Karen! Nice to hear from you and I appreciate your support with this one. Most people seem to be on the same page but I just don’t think we are talking about it enough. Let’s all join together in that “intention” you suggest and help make it happen! ~Kathy

  14. I find it consistently frustrating and tragic that our country can’t figure this one out, after so many years and so many false starts. It’s all so confusing and now so divisive, unfortunately.

    • Hey Sheryl…thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment….AND I totally agree. But as an eternal optimist who is also VERY hopeful I think if enough of us get angry enough about the blackmailing going on in Washington we might all get motivated enough to do what it takes to get this ship turned around. Let’s stay motivated!!! ~Kathy

  15. Brava Kathy for this brave post on a polarizing issue. I quickly learned to bite my tongue when talking to US friends about this issue. I am dumbfounded at the general public’s visceral response to anything resembling socialized medicine. In fact, beyond logic, it seems to me that the poorer the region, the more deep-seated the resistance.

    I remember driving through some rural areas in California last September (pre-election), and commenting to my husband that people with “NO to Obamacare!” signs on their front lawns were the ones that looked like they didn’t have a pot to pee in, let alone healthcare coverage of their own. Why would they not want this? I just don’t get it.

    Maybe this bleeding heart Canadian is missing something.
    Nancy recently posted…Where have you been all my life?My Profile

    • Hi Nancy! Thanks for the support. I’ve only had 2 unsubscribes (so far!) so I guess that isn’t too bad 🙂 In answer to your question/comment I really believe that it is an education problem. Those who oppose it without understanding that it is a step in the right direction are probably mis-educated by either watching bad TV–and yeah all know what that’s about–or being fed lies from certain politicians. What’s so funny to me is that if you tell those same people that anyone in the military is already participating in socialized medicine in our country–they will look at you kinda blank. The truth is that between medicare and the military socialized healthcare system, millions of American’s are ALREADY receiving the very basic health care that so many are upset about. But again, it’s lack of education. Hopefully enough Americans will stand up to this current hostage situation and we will get things moving in the right direction. ~Kathy

  16. jo casey

    As a Brit I’ve watched the passions of those opposing Obamacare with fascination – and more than a little bemusement. We’re lucky to have universal healthcare in the UK – we all pay National Insurance (a small percentage of your earnings) which provides for everyone through the National Health Service. To have to pay huge monthly private insurance bills, face bankruptcy if you get seriously ill, and to face no coverage at all if you can’t afford insurance or are in employment is so far from my experience that I can’t imagine the fear and insecurity that those not so fortunate must feel.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you Kathy – healthcare shouldn’t be a political issue and whether you get to be treated, live well or die from a treatable illness shouldn’t depend on your station in life. We are all connected and if we’re going to build a caring, supportive society that involves caring enough for one another to provide a basic level of healthcare for everyone – young, old, rich and poor.
    jo casey recently posted…What to do when you’ve too much work to do?My Profile

    • Hi Jo! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts from a Brit perspective. I’ve had the feeling that the rest of the countries on the planet…especially those of you that not only have better health care than us–but as you say, universal and available to all–are just sitting back and wondering what went wrong. As I said, I am very proud of our country for many things–but this isn’t one of them. And like I said in my response to Nancy–we are already providing universal care to anyone on Medicare and in our military–so that’s proof that we can do it and still remain a democracy. 🙂 Right now I’m thinking the single payer system is a very good move in the right direction but who knows? We deserve so much better and hopefully enough of us will be so angry at the blackmailing going on in Washington that we vote out all those who are trying to hold up this very important human right for us all.

      Thank you so much Jo for popping in here and lending your support! ~Kathy

  17. I believe that the ACA, currently called Obamacare and demonized by some, is imperfect and needs fixing. I believe that ANY system, short of the terrible “Socialized medicine” that every other First World country ENJOYS, is inadequate, like a series of stepping stones across the river, when what we need is a wide, sturdy bridge.

    But having some stepping stones is better than just telling people to just jump across, and hope you don’t fall in and drown. Odds are, everyone will reach a point in their life when they get sick or injured, most likely BEFORE they hit 65 and Medicare-eligibility (and Medicare is “Socialized medicine, too). I know too many people who’ve lost their homes, EVERYTHING because of an unexpected illness for a family member, or because they were injured in a car accident that wasn’t their fault, but the other driver’s insurance didn’t cover all their expenses. I know a woman who was hired right out of college, but at 80 days into her new job (10 short of the 90 days probationary period when her employer’s insurance would cover her, but after her college insurance was no longer in effect) she got salmonella poisoning, probably from a restaurant, and then… pre-existing condition, no insurer would take her. In a country with as many resources as we have, with as many great doctors, with as many people with genuinely kind and generous hearts, it is obscene that when it comes to health care, it’s “every man for himself.”

    The answer is not to rip up the stepping stones because they’re not as good as a bridge. The answer is to improve them until we can figure out how to build that bridge.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted…Bloody Hell, Needles Scare MeMy Profile

    • Hi Beverly! So-so-so true! And very nicely put I might add 🙂 Obviously I agree with you…did you read the link about the “single-payer system”. What do you think of that? It is really a great alternative that should make both sides of the political issue happier than they are now. But again, as long as the politicians are able to convince the public that its mainly about politics…people won’t even talk about the options.

      I love your analogy of the stepping stones on our way to a bridge. We MUST start talking about this issue and not let each other go to sleep on the possibility of change. Thank you for adding your voice to the mix. ~Kathy

  18. Yay to you Kathy for having the courage to speak up.
    I can tell you why I don’t speak on the subject – as bad as it is, I don’t know how to fix it. I believe in charity, I believe in empathy and taking care of each other, but I guess I don’t trust our government to do it correctly. They make a mess of so many things and there is so much waste and corruption when they get involved.
    While this may not be a good answer, it is my answer for now. You have encouraged me; however, to look into it a little deeper.

    Thank you for bringing the matter up.

    Dan @ Zen Presence – Ideas for Meaningful Living
    Dan Garner recently posted…Cell Phones, Lust, and Impulse BuyingMy Profile

    • Hi Dan! Thank you for reassuring me that this was a topic that needed to be discussed. I think we are all feeling a bit helpless about our options but I really do think that if we don’t say something or at least try to change things, then we destined to even worse conditions. I do believe in all of us being responsible for our health and actions, but I also find it deplorable that some people could walk away from those in need. Imagine if we could all know that if someone is in pain that they could find the help that they need–that’s the kind of world I want to live in and I want to do what I can to make it happen.

      Did you get a chance to follow the links at the bottom of the article? The last one is a hopeful one (IMHO) about the single payer system. I think talking this one up and sharing the idea with others is one small thing I can do. I’ve also posted quite a bit about this issue on FB and will be Tweeting it too. The more we get people talking the better.

      Anyway, thanks again for your comments and encouragement. They mean a lot. ~Kathy

  19. “So why should you care? If you are healthy now and/or have insurance, why work to change the system? Because eventually, should you be fortunate enough to live that long, it will affect either you or someone you love. ”

    I think it goes even deeper than that. In this country, we really need to start looking beyond our own noses. I have a former student who died of a condition that shouldn’t kill anyone, because she didn’t have access to healthcare. That shouldn’t happen–not here or anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it didn’t happen to us, or to someone we know. It happened. We need to stop pretending that it doesn’t happen, or that it’s the person’s fault if it happens.

    I know it’s fear and survival mode–those of us with coverage are afraid that we will have less coverage, or have to pay for additional coverage, if we were to guarantee health care to everyone in the country (which, I do realize, is not what the affordable care act does). But, as a society, it really is our job to care for the most weak and vulnerable, even if it is at an inconvenience to ourselves.
    Bethany recently posted…Believe in Happily Ever AfterMy Profile

    • Hi Bethany! Thank you so much for leaving a comment and letting me know that you agree that this is a HUGE and important topic that needs to be brought out into the light. I know there are tragic stories out there and so many of us just put our heads in the sand and pretend that “it’s not about me.” As you say it is about the fear…and that plays directly into my post from last week about scarcity. Most of us are so afraid that we don’t have enough that we must protect ourselves at any cost–even when we know there are those who need help. But I think once we open up and realize that by working together we can actually improve it for ALL OF US the problem can be resolved. It might not be easy–but I believe that it can be solved….did you see the bottom link on the post? I really believe that the single-payer system is the way to go….but we can’t stay quiet about it….spread the word!

      Thanks again for your comment Bethany–it is ALWAYS appreciated! ~Kathy

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