Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's hell to be po'

It's a shame the way they do po folks. As a po folk I feel justified in my outrage. I am one of the uninsured millions. If you have a job and insurance coverage consider yourself blessed. It is hard to be poor and sick. If you've never had to sit in an emergency room surrounded by people who are sick and tired then you can't possibly understand the anguish of not having. The knowledge that your plight or that of the person next to you is so inconsequential that you can sit undisturbed for hours at a time. Employees pass and glance in with pitying looks. They are probably thanking God that they have insurance and therefore do not have to suffer this indignity. I know there are places worse than our county hospital. Places where people wait for days to be seen. That is the crux of the problem. The American healthcare system is in CRISIS, Crisis with a capital C. The Research and Development costs for new medications are increasing so astronomically that even if you are lucky enough to be seen by someone in the emergency room, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to afford to purchase the medicines that are prescribed. It seems that there should be a more egalitarian way of treating people. Until a few years ago I was gainfully employed in what would be termed a good job and had insurance. The contrast of being insured and uninsured is palpable. A person with insurance seems to matter. They have a quantifiable worth, while those without are made to seem as nothing. Having stood on both sides of the fence I can say that as a country we have to do something. It's not just healthcare. It's utilities and food and entertainment. The gap between the haves and the have nots is a vast chasm that is expanding exponentially. Pretty soon the basic necessities will be out of reach of a large part of the population of the world. The inability to have access to adequate healthcare is the tip of the iceberg and as Al Gore will tell you; even that that iceberg isn't what it used to be.

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