In 2006, with a fortunate set of circumstances, (some might say unfortunate) Larry was offered an opportunity to participate in a study on Parkinson's. We discussed the options, do nothing, or move forward and be in the front of the line and help try to cure Parkinson's Disease. It required surgery to his brain. It required a ton of travel - they would reimburse - to and from the University of California at San Francisco. He went through months of poking and proding, most of it paid by the UCSF. They flew us to Vancouver, Canada for a final test (it was like a mini-vacation to us, even though it was two nights). We discussed. Then he had to have two liver biopsies, which cleared him for the test. We talked some more. He had wonderful doctors working with him, and there were no bills.
He was a good candidate for the phase II test. He had no problem donating himself to science. Five and 1/2 months after his surgery, he died of brain cancer. This story is true.
The point of my message is, if this country had a better way to deliver health care at affordable costs without all the red tape of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies requiring their profit margins, perhaps he might still be here today? I don't know. I can only accept the fact, that his path became more direct when he did decide to be a part of the study. He did it willingly, and with little hesitation. But he also knew that he had no choice when it came to future health care or participating with other alternative methods. We didn't have the money. Not all people have those opportunities available, but then they stand wringing their hands waiting for something to come their way, trying to avoid the insurance and pharmaceutical drama. Sometimes, it's too late for some. It causes stress on the caregivers, I know, I have experienced it. It's difficult to watch this and sometimes I feel we are all pawns with the pharaceutical and insurance companies, who have complete lobbying control about our health care needs.
When I look at the AHCA now on how Larry and I would have benefitted then, we would have had health care insurance because I wouldn't have been denied for a "pre-exisitng condition" (Blue Shield denied me because I was 60 pounds over weight and had to have carpal tunnel surgery). There was no Health Net, or Kaiser in the area we lived in that could compete for our coverage. We had only Blue Shield available and that was all.
What I would absolutely love to see is the medicare plan for all people. Medicare has provided health care for many people. The politics of "for profit" insurance companies taint the process of good medical health care. Sure...if you want to have optional surgeries like getting larger breasts, or a better shaped nose, those options are available at a high price or with vanity insurance policies. But simple, general, basic health care, with preventative screenings should not be at such a cost that people can't have them.
A mandate (or tax as Chief Justice Roberts calls it) would be necessary to make sure everyone participates. Sliding scales are used all the time with alternative medicines, why can't that be the case? As for the insurance companies, I don't think they are hurting one bit. I place them in the category as big oil. Secure it, make sure it's expensive, and provide major profits to the CEO's who run the companies. As I look at the costs I currently put out monthly to insurance companies...Kaiser: $460.00 per month. (this is optional); homeowners fire insurance $54.00 (mandated by mortgage company); Car insurance - $102.00 per month (mandated by State); liability insurance for home/business (optional, but cheaper than a lawyer) - $53.00; dental insurance - $35.00 (optional); life insurance - $60.00 (optional, but maybe the bills will be paid when I die). I think I forgot some....but then, there is the other insurance bills for the other building I rent...and I am most grateful for that...but it is still annoying. I believe the insurance companies should be grateful that they are skimming $773.00 per month of my income. Enough of this rant. Perhaps I should throw all "optionals" all and live for the moment? It's that damn fear that keeps coming back in my brain...what if.....? We have been brainwashed here. Enough of this rant (again).
Thank you SCOTUS for allowing the AFHA to continue. I am sending intentions to the universe that perhaps this is the start of becoming a universal health nation. Maybe my grand daughters grow up with a healthier option. I'd like to think, it's a beginning.
Love and good "healthy" vibrations to everyone! - Lori