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December 10, 2006


ahh. nancy. a topic so close to my heart too....

and the thing about this one is it is completely solveable...we can do better. we can be less greedy.

it is solveable.

I also feel very passionately about this subject. My mother in her last 48 hours of life was forced into a nursing facility which involved an excruciating transport due to cancer breaking her bones with the slightest movement because a stupid clause in my father's private health insurance denied her further treatment at the hospital or home hospice. It makes me furious to this day that our system would fail someone in the most desperate of times and make a family endure such added trauma to the inevitable horror of losing someone to cancer.

Having grown up in the great white north, it would frighten me to think of worrying about the cost of something while en route to the doctor/hospital. Those are thoughts I've never had and the stories about families going bankrupt paying for someone's medical care scare me. If my family had been living in a place without socalized medicine after my mother was in a serious car accident I have no doubt we would have grown up destitute and homeless.

This is a great public service you're doing here. I've got a lot of soapbox issues (as you know), and I'm definitely with you on this one. For some reason, there's a misperception amongst a certain segment of our population, that believes that the uninsured for some reason are not deserving of insurance - that they're lazy or stupid or just poor (meaning they're lazy or stupid). I don't know anyone who can look at a child in particular and not believe that it's all of our collective responsibility to make sure she's taken care of.

Since moving to Belgium, I've been using their healthcare system, and in my experience it's been far superior to the U.S. Not only does Belgium have universal healthcare, it also seems to have doctors and nurses who are far less stressed than the overworked, malpractice-fearing professionals at home.

New mothers spend days in the hospital, get SIX months paid maternity leave if they want it, and receive periodic visits from a nurse at home. Daycare is also provided by the communities for the youngest children.

However, all these benefits come with a steep price tag. The sales tax her is 22 percent; income tax is at least 50 percent BUT people get the care they need, and I think good health, above all, enhances quality of life.

I'm glad you wrote about this as I, too, think this is one of the most important issues facing our country and as a mother,I care about the health and well-being of others, especially the children and families and those who can't afford it.

It is in all of our best interests to work for this.

Wonderful post.

Great post. It's scary--and completely unacceptable--how so many of us are just one layoff away from potential disaster, and how many more are already there.

Yeah, Nancy is writing, Nancy is writing!!!

Thanks for this important gift. There are more people in the US without health insurance than there are in the entire country of Canada period.

As you know, we have universal health care up here but the system is severely cracked. Politicians feeling corporate pressure and pressure from American HMOs flirt dangerously with dismantling the system. Just lask week a private emergency room opened in Vancouver. With the Tory gov't in place there is no indication that anyone will crack down on this joint for standing in contradiction of the Canada Health Act. Bingo: two-tiered health. It infuriates me.

What we still have going for us in Canada is two generations of people who have only ever known universal health-care. Time and again, health-care is the #1 election issue. When the CBC did a cheesy reality show last year called "The Greatest Canadian," Tommy Douglas the founder of universal health care in Canada was easily voted as our country's greatest person of all time.

I fear what the loss of universal health care would mean to those who live on the margins of society. As it is, dentists and optomotrists will often refuse care to the homeless. To not have medical care? That would be unthinkable here. I am sorry that it is happening in the richest nation on earth.

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  • I'm Nancy, a (cough)40-something(cough) mother of 2 living in the DC metro area. When I'm not working, I'm home with my husband J and my two girls Mimi and Rosie.

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