My friend died on Sunday. She was 71. Had she been one of the wealthiest she would have lived longer. She was the mother of my Godmother, and I will miss her.
I share this with you for a reason. I loved her, my godfamily mourns her today, the funeral is tomorrow. Our family loved her, and her family worked hard for what they have in the world and did all they could for her, but it was not enough. Had they been a wealthier family my friend would have lived longer but she could not afford the best care in the world, and in America for far too many and for far too long there is often what you can’t afford and nothing at all to choose from. My late friend was 71. She was the grandmother of some of my best friends. She used to call me “Gig” and I tear up as I laugh in her honest hearted way at the fact that I never, ever knew why she used to call me “Gig”?
Sometimes laughter helps ease the pain.
More below the fold.
On the matter of health care coverage there is still more work to do. There is always room for improvement. The cause endures. Costs should mean nothing on this issue. CBO scores and debt and deficits, all of it should shrink when compared to lives lost and illnesses suffered. Are deficits worse than death? The people who have millions at stake worry more about rising national debt, and are too often those same wealthiest people who fear no sickness while they and their loved ones are well, and can afford easily their regular checkups. A working family who has a sick child is not more concerned with debt than illness. A small business owner facing rising costs is not more concerned with national debt, his business can not grow, he hires less employees or lays some off as the economy goes up and down and his employees don’t get raises, and our economy continues to stagnate. These problems, the oligopoly of insurance profiteers are costing families their loved one, businesses their vitality, and our nation in debt BECAUSE the Health Insurers have played the Wall Street game, the highest profits possible and everyone else be damned. We are talking about health and human lives. The profit motive is THE FLAW in our nations health insurance system, and pure greed is corrupting. Fixing this crisis will cost money and it will be money well spent compared to war in Iraq. War in Iraq never spared Americans their grief. Health care reform will save people’s lives! What could possibly be a more Christian thing to do? When you consider that, are the costs all that important.
At the end of the day we have corrupt political and commercial systems because of greed, greed and the worst of the things that tempt mankind, power. The health insurers make up 17% of the economy. I believe that NO one industry should make up that much of the economy. A diversified economy dependant on small businesses and well paid households is vibrant and can adjust to changes in the real world marketplace. A stagnant economy is one with a huge gap between the rich and poor, a dying middle class, high unemployment, one full of monopolies and Too Big To Fail banks, where jobs are outsourced and bonuses are subsidized and where individual debt never goes away but national debt is of major concern.
Non profit health care is best. A single payer system would benefit the sick, and I think America is so great we would lead the world in innovation even without a profit driven health system. What, you think we wouldn’t invent the best medicine we could because America isn’t the most innovative place on earth?
And yet for all the wealth and power and “the best health care system in the world” my friend from a working class family is gone. If she were among the wealthiest among us she would have lived longer. That is why cost means nothing to me compared to lives. Her family damn near went broke caring for her. Her family did not get bonuses for sacrificing for her in her old age, my friends family was not Too Big To Fail, and, worse of all, someone, many people in fact DID make a profit from my friends suffering. They made a profit from the work she did in life and the debt she incurred with age and the illness she suffered as her sun went down and the starlit night of mortality set in, all along the way some people profitted from her work and suffering, and THAT is what is wrong with our current society. People are dying poorer than they should have been and younger than they could have, and men of wealth and power like George Soros and Dick Cheney get older and always seem to have more wealth and power.
And my friend is gone, gone forever into the stardust from whence we all came.
What greater national debt is there then the one we owe our fellow patriots in securing their safety AND their health? This is how our nation thrives. This is how our families survive! A dying nation with lower nation debt can not be the answer, nor can a nation of poor and underemployed and underpaid families build a better future.
Is money spent more valuable than lives lost?
I have said enough on the matter for now. I am still upset. I miss my friend who is gone. I wish I, we, her nation could have done better for her. Call it socialism or social justice if you must, I call it plain human decency, the decency that see a mother or child suffering and doesn’t ask “how can we profit?” but says “how can I help?”
Tomorrow I will attend my friends funeral. I find it sad that she passed away while the House of Representatives signed health care reform legislation designed to prevent death and illness. For my friend, this help came too late, but for millions and millions more these vital reforms come right in the nic of time. Could we do more? Certainly! And we will. And for that I thank all those people who fought to put lives over profits, and people over power.
I will miss my lost friend. I will celebrate her life and the lives of her children and grandchildren (my childhood friends) and now their children whose lives she touched. They go to mourn their mother, not the deficit or the super profits of a few. They will remember the lost life of a fellow human being, a person who was rare and weak and like so many of us and powerful, all in her own way. That is who I will mourn and who I will continue to fight for in memory as I did during her life.
The cause endures. And so do we.
I will miss you, dear friend, for ever and always.
Love and prayers for you in the everafter,
You can follow me on Twitter @JesseLaGreca
Crossposted at ProgressiveElectorate.com