On a personal note, my wife and myself have no access
because of pre-existing conditions, which make insurance premiums unaffordable.
As a result of our situation, my Russian born wife is presently in Russia
receiving needed medical care which is not available to us in America. The
uninsured try many different approaches to secure medical access, Many times
with little or no success. My wife cannot comprehend this situation, simply
because in Europe medical access is a right, not a privilege as it is in
America. If this crisis is allowed to continue, we will be on the verge of
insanity when we speak of health care reform in America. There is absolutely no
excuse for such injustice in a country that prides itself on human right issues
around the world. (Maintenance Professional in North Carolina. " The Health Care
Problems Archive: A Collection of Problems with the U. S. Health Care ")
Breann LaManna is your typical 11-year old little girl; she loves Hannah Montana
and playing with her friends and little brother. At first glance, no one would
ever be able to tell that this little girl has been through an ordeal that most
people will never have to incur; Stage III Hodgkin’s disease, a rare form of
childhood cancer. She has been through agonizing chemotherapy and radiation
treatments, long hospital stays, and in many ways she has had to grow too soon.
It all began when nine year old Breann’s parents Maria and Chris took her to
see a doctor about a persistent and worsening cough due to what they believed
were allergies. A chest X-ray discovered a 13-centimeter mass on her aorta,
without any time to spare, she was admitted to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center in New York and administered seven rounds of chemotherapy and fourteen
rounds of radiation. Her father reminisces, “that’s where the whole roller
coaster began. People can't really relate unless you actually go through that
experience. It's terrible, and also with the health insurance that just denies
and denies." The LaManna’s insurance company at the time, AETNA, denied any
coverage of the treatments, stating that Sloan-Kettering wan not in their
network of coverage. Sloan-Kettering is one of the best hospitals for Breann’s
condition. Her parents were not going to put money and their insurance’s network
rules over their daughter’s chance of survival. As a result, the LeMannas
acquired over $140,000 in medical bills. Her mother tearfully explains, "When
you're thinking you can lose your child, the last thing you're worrying about is
a preapproval (to a hospital), Breann was stronger than I was. You feel like the
world is closing in and she'd make you laugh. She was definitely a fighter.”
Little Breann beat the cancer and she has been cancer free for over a year now.
Currently, the LaMannas have been working with legislators to establish Breann's
Law, which forces insurance companies to provide the funds for the treatment
center that provides the best care for a child battling a catastrophic or
potentially fatal illness. "We're trying to rattle the cage and make people
aware of it. I couldn't understand how she could do it because I couldn't do
it," said Chris. "She's really an amazing individual. The health insurance
company destroyed us financially, but we won because we have Breann here. We
want to help the next family so they can worry about the welfare of their child
without worrying about how they're going to pay for it.”( Michels)
Cost control and funding the new system will be tricky, but a lot of wasteful spending will be eliminated by fundamental changes within the system and getting rid of a lot of the profit making. Taxes may need to increase (the conservatives will throw a fit), but it is not a bad price for a healthier America which is more productive and beneficial for society and the economy anyway.
David C Goodman, Elliott S Fisher. (2008). Physician Workforce Crisis? Wrong Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription. The New England Journal of Medicine, 358(16), 1658-1661. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source database. (Document ID: 1464139441).
Gawande, Atul. "The Obama Health Plan." The New York Times 31 May 2007. 22 Apr. 2008 http://.nytimes.com/.
Jost, Timothy S. Health Care: At Risk a Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2007.
Maintenance Professional in North Carolina. " The Health Care Problems Archive: A Collection of Problems with the U. S. Health Care " HelathCareProblems.org. 10 Sep. 2005. 21 Apr. 2008 http://www.healthcareproblems.org/.
Michels, Chelsea. "Chiropractor to Raise Funds for Local Girl's Medical Bills." APP 17 Apr. 2008. 22 Apr. 2008 http://www.app.com/.
Messerli, Joe. "Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?" Balanced Politics. 17 Apr. 2008. 22 Apr. 2009