All those who believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege: you are excused. All the rest of you, please get your credit cards ready.
In my spin class this morning my instructor announced a fundraiser next Saturday for one of the gym's employees, a sweet 21 year-old named Gabe, who was just diagnosed with cancer. My instructor, who is donating nearly a thousand dollars (her paycheck), wants to make sure Gabe can pay for his cancer treatment without, say, losing his car or being unable to pay his rent. She sent us a link, so all we have to do is click to donate.
So this is the answer to the health care problem in the U.S. holding fundraisers to help a few lucky individuals pay their bills?
I didn't ask whether Gabe has insurance or not, because -- as you already know if you've been paying attention -- it's irrelevant. Even if he does, the deductible and non-covered portion of these costs will be astronomical, and though Gabe works hard as a front desk employee of the gym, the medical bills will be way out of his snack bracket (they would be out of mine, too).
Call me crazy, but here's what I think: fundraisers should be held to raise money to cure cancer, not to pay for one person's cancer treatments.
Universal healthcare -- no, wait -- let me use that really dirty word... socialized healthcare might come in pretty handy for Gabe right about now.
Before you start your comment rant on the evils of socialized medicine -- that Gabe would die before he ever got to the front of the long lines for treatment should he live in Canada or France -- hold on. I have lived in France and was married to a Canadian, and have experienced both of their health care systems. And guess what? They work. By the way, our private system isn't exactly speedy. I just called to make an appointment with my OBGYN (who, like many doctors these days, doesn't even take insurance), and she won't be able to see me for 8 weeks.
Republican have long expounded on the theory that we should be able to rely on individuals, not the government, to take care of us. To that, I say... huh? Sure, Gabe may be lucky to have a group of people who care about him and who will donate their money to help him (let's hope), but is this what it's come to?
If you still can't see that our health care system needs an overhaul, please put your money where your mouth is. Just a click of the mouse and you, too, can help pay for Gabe's cancer treatments. And Bob's... and Jane's... and Sarah's... Just remember, there are over 300 million people in this country, most of who won't be able to afford their healthcare costs at some point. Might as well keep your credit card out.