Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Time for Healthcare Reform!

In my email today I received an email from an organization called "Organizing for Healthcare" that included the video on this blog. I know not everyone who comes across this blog is an Obama supporter but organizing to defeat healthcare reform in the name of "crushing" Obama is as low as it goes.

I used to work in the healthcare field as a family consultant for the Alzheimer's Association and later for a nonprofit caregiver resource center in Santa Cruz, CA. By the time I left that line of work I couldn't stand listening to the stories anymore. . . but what I couldn't handle is NOT what you might think. I could listen and support people who were seeing their family members and friends deteriorate, lose their minds, and die. I could handle the disease and death. What I hated about this work was the devastating effect taking care of their loved ones had on these people because of the horrible lack of financial and hands-on support we allow to be acceptable in this country. Elderly people were doing 24-hour a day caregiving without back-up! You can't do that as a young person. There comes a time when you NEED to sleep, eat and do basic tasks of everyday living. You can't do this kind of caregiving without support!

And paying for help is more than most people could stand. People were in my office every day begging me to tell them how to keep from going bankrupt and I didn't know. That's what got to me. The utter disregard for human value and human life.

Meanwhile the drug companies who supply the pharmaceuticals their family members were talked into thinking they needed at several hundreds of dollars a month are getting fat. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the top 2-3 most profitable industries in the world, reporting profits of 100s of billions of dollars per year. Profit, by the way, is what is left AFTER a company pays for the research and development the drug companies claim they need to be paid so much for. Don't be fooled by the games they have been playing. Record profits were reported after Bush signed the most recent Medicare drug benefit "reform" bill. That's how insane our country has been—steal from the poor to fatten the already unbelievably rich! This is worse than insane—it's criminal!

It's also a big piece of what has been bringing the economy to its knees. Big multinationals allowed to run amok, taking everything they can get without regard to anyone else. 100s of billions of dollars of profit—every year—while people we care about are losing their homes and having to make the choice between paying for medications and having enough to eat.

It's time we all stood up and did something about it.