Thursday, July 16, 2009

MomsRising healthcare meeting

Yesterday, through, I met with the office of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in Springfield, MA. Present were Steven Meunier, a Kerry staffer on the issues of healthcare, and 14 adult and 6 future members of MomsRising. We met to discuss how the current healthcare debacle is failing the American families. To supplement the faceless statistics of the 18% of the GDP expenditures with 30% administrative overhead, the 47 million uninsured, nearly 100,000 avoidable deaths annually in our hospitals, we brought personal stories of the system's failures: an uninsured diabetic husband dying of what started as a simple upper respiratory infection, a family contemplating a move to another country due to complex health issues not covered by their current $1,500/month premium plan, a town going bankrupt because of the meteorically rising health insurance premiums.
Now, as a health services researcher and a general skeptic, I know that not all of the stories would have ended differently under universal coverage. Even with accessible and meticulous care people encounter complications and die from their diseases. Even with accessible and meticulous care not all interventions can or should be offered to everyone with a minute chance of benefitting from them. And particularly with accessible and meticulous care our towns will continue to experience fiscal pressures. What I also know is that no one deserves to live with the personal burden of "what if": What if that diabetic had been able to get more prompt and thorough attention? What if people's lives did not need to be disrupted by having to become medical refugees? What if towns could be confident that their fiscal burdens, though considerable, were assuring all of their citizens access to reasonable care?
Ours were just a few of many stories being told by women and men throughout the nation. As Mr. Meunier summarized, we are raising a generation of citizens who are not only skeptical about, but also thoroughly intimidated by our healthcare system and the personal financial burdens implicit in it. This is no way for the wealthiest country in the world to promote health maintenance. Although our stories are not infusing the Washington economy with $1.4 million daily, and ours are not household names in your offices, this is your opportunity, Congress, to do the right thing. Our future depends on it!


  1. thanks you for posting about this action. I'm so glad you were able to be there and articulate these messages.

  2. Thanks for your support, WordyDoodles! We need to continue the work.