I’m bringing to you another one of my published clips from the DNJ. I am humbled by the amount of responses from the article, so I bring it here to you for your viewing and discussion.
You can find the original article here…Daily News Journal.
Because the articles are archived only for a short while, I will also post the text into my blog. I look forward to your responses, whether you are with me, or against me!
GUEST COLUMN: Focus on changing health care, instead of holding Tea Parties
As I tuned into Fox News Wednesday, I was both sickened and saddened to see several thousand bodies gathered together across the United States for what was being called, the “Tea Party Protests.” The protests are a replication of the infamous Boston Tea Party of 1773, a protest against the British government for taxing the colonists of Boston.
Today’s modern day “Tea Party Protests” are founded by the passing of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, which would require a tax increase to make it work. The protesters’ main concern is the money that is being spent for the corporate bailouts, mortgage bailouts, and the health care portion of the stimulus package. While I can appreciate the concern for the use of federal funds to bail out corporations who have dug their own graves, I have a problem with those people who are opposing the use of money for a better health care system.
Two days ago, I was sitting next to a woman at Walgreens, both of us waiting for our prescriptions to be filled. As we sat waiting, we listened to two of the pharmacists discussing the profitability in the pharmaceutical business. I glanced in her direction and noticed that she had just come from the ER. (She had her discharge papers in hand, her bracelets still attached to her wrist, and a freshly bandaged hand, where an I.V. was likely inserted.) As she glanced back at me, we shook our heads synchronously in response to the pharmacists’ conversation. I made a comment to her about pharmaceutical companies robbing consumers, “The cost of making the drugs is ten times less than what they charge consumers,” she emphatically nodded. Our conversation then turned toward the number of people who are uninsurable, including herself, and the humiliation enforced by having to go to the ER for non-emergency treatment, such as chronic pain, seasonal illnesses, and mental health care. This humiliation is taken a step further by people not being able to afford the prescriptions that are given by the doctors.
What I saw Wenesday when I turned on the television was nothing more than a gross display of a generation of upper middle class and opulent aristocrats who have no concept of what it’s like to be on the other side of the tracks. Since, for some reason, it’s hard to place ourselves in another’s shoes, imagine this: Your mother, daughter, son or spouse is being affected by a pre-existing condition like mental illness, a physical disability, heart disease — or any other disease that might make the quality of living nearly miserable. The high cost of health care without insurance has burned a hole in your pocket, and now you have to make some decisions. If you go to the doctor, you can’t afford the prescriptions. If you are able to somehow pay for some of your prescriptions, some of your health issues will be neglected because you can’t afford the monthly follow-ups and the prescriptions. Perhaps the hardest decision to make is choosing between your loved one’s health and quality of life, versus feeding yourself or your family, and keeping a roof over your head. These are all things I and others have faced in recent years.
So, I implore you to try for one moment to put yourselves in another’s shoes before impulsively acting upon your own selfish desires. No one said life is fair, but with all the modern day advances, there’s no reason for this kind of suffering.
Freelance writer Annabella Hargrove resides in Murfreesboro. Among other projects, she is working on a memoir.