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Health care failures are devastating to Americans

By Staff | Oct 2, 2009

I am so disappointed in many of my fellow Americans. The inner light that shines in every heart seems to have dimmed for them. The health care debates are not the first time of flagrant distortions and outright lies swallowed hook, line and sinker … shallow ignorance of the statistics … like monkeys covering their eyes … see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Forget the World Health Organization’s rating of the U.S. health system below Columbia, Chile and Costa Rica; America ranking 29th in infant mortality twice as many American babies die at birth as in Japan; the U.S. near the bottom in life expectancy of people age 60; nearly three-fourths of all Americans die from preventable, degenerative diseases; eight percent of Americans have diabetes, a disease that has increased 14 percent between 2005 and 2007; approximately one in five Americans have arthritis; America’s obesity rate is the worst in the world and is a predictor of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Never mind about the average prescription costs of $70, a hospital room up to $1,700 per day, emergency room visits cost $700, uncomplicated birth in a hospital $8,000, simple cardiac stress test $1,900 and heart attack costs $45,000 to $50,000.

There was another instance, at lease one when the light that shines in every heart gravely dimmed, when they stuck their heads in the sand, took the bait hook, line and sinker. They re-elected for a second term a president and an unprovoked war in Iraq that emptied our treasury. The invaded country fell apart into chaos, disease, torture and death. “Not my problem” the president first said and stood by and watched. When he finally intervened it was too late. But they re-elected him after he bluffed, bullied, lied to them and promised them the world.

My dad died in ’69 after he had gone nearly blind. He was 56. The experimental operation to open draining channels in his eyes with a laser failed. His bills were $20,000, all the money he and mom had saved over a lifetime after raising four kids. He had survived the loss of a son in the Korean War and many accidents involving my younger brother, who was prone to accidents. But a month after the operation when dad awakened on the kitchen floor after a stroke he said “mom, let me go, we’ll lose everything to medical bills.” “I will not, everything will be OK,” she sternly replied as she continued to massage his heart. But he had given up.

Rather than bankrupt his family, he died in the ambulance.

R. Ethier