|Amber Cooper with her son Jaden|
On NPR this morning, an interview with Amber Cooper - a wife, mother, worker and liver transplant recipient - reminded me to get cracking on a healthcare series.
Amber Cooper had a successful liver transplant when she was ten years old. She grew up, married, had a child, bought a house and holds down a job. She is a great success story for liver transplantation. She is a great success story full stop.
|Life-preserving drugs for transplant|
patients, as well as for heart disease
and other chronic life-threatening
conditions cost hundreds, even
thousands, per month.
Ms. Cooper requires expensive medications every day of her life to prevent her body from rejecting the transplanted organ that keeps her alive. Because of her pre-existing condition, health insurance was always going to be a challenge, but Amber had insurance prescription coverage with her employer - until recently.
At an all-employee meeting, Amber learned that her company was changing their health insurance coverage and the new "coverage" would not cover any of her most urgent healthcare needs. You can read or listen to the story.
This story is only one of thousands of stories of Americans who literally face life or death decisions every day because they have no access to affordable healthcare services. Millions of other Americans have no or not enough coverage, and their stories will join these sooner or later. The richest country in the world has made a huge business out of health, life and death. And Republicans fight tooth and nail to preserve it.
I think it is time that people honestly ask themselves: is this morally defensible?
A group called Physicians For a National Health Program put up an excellent webpage with questions and answers that people might have about the relative merits of a single-payer healthcare system compared to the current for-profit system. While I do not agree with everything they have written (more in future posts), overall this page is an excellent source of information to help people form clear and concise responses to the common concerns that many people have about socialized healthcare.
I will end this brief post with one quote from the site linked above, which is, I think, the fundamental reality of our situation in the USA:
"If you can afford care, you get it; if you can't, you don't." Words to ponder.