Friday, May 5, 2006

The Cover the Uninsured Breakfast

On 4/30 I wrote that Alec and I were going to the May 5th "2006 Gala Celebration Breakfast." And so today we did.

The breakfast was good ~ I broke my diet for diabetes. Oh well. Newly diagnosed and mostly I am being really cazeful.

One of the speakers (who was younger than me I think) said this needs to be worked on now, but that we probably won't have everyone covered by health insurance her lifetime. Yes that is probably true. It is depressing ~ we (the USA government) have money for war! Apparently it may have to happen (or begin) state-by-state. Mention was made of new Massachusetts legislation to offer health insurance for all thier state residents.

Something that I felt was missing at the event was a sense that there were people there who don't have insurance coverage. The people who spoke are professionals in health care services and politicians. All with hearts and minds in the right place. But in the speeches, people without insurance were referred to as 'them.' Some of the speakers talked about people they worked with - but nobody was there to tell their own stories firsthand, and I wish it had been so. I know how powerful that can be from my work with other issues and organizations. If there had been an opportunity at the end I would have spoken.

1 comment:

Brett said...

As an attendee at the same breakfast, Gabi, I felt similarly. In fact, when one woman said "10 to 20 years" for universal coverage—and then used the word "hopeful" in that same sentence, I think I developed an aneurism… (Of course, that aneurism will remain untreated, since I have no health coverage.)

I wish you had been able to speak.

Because what threw me MOST of all was WHAT WASN'T SAID:

This is not just a PHYSICAL HEALTH scandal, it is a SPIRITUAL HEALTH scandal.

Because too many people mistakenly equate "religion" and "spirituality"—and therefore don't want to talk about the underlying spiritual problems of our society for fear of treading on sacred, religious grounds, there are huge "elephants in the breakfast meeting" (if not the living rooms of our country) that are NEVER addressed or even approached.

And what is the "SPIRITUAL HEALTH PROBLEM" that underlies our current PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE CRISIS (that is not being addressed—or even mentioned)?

In part, it is THE fatal flaw of a free market economy.

From my point of view, it is the wrongheaded notion that EVERYTHING, even priceless things—like "care"—are automatically given a monetary value in a consumer society, AND are thereby reduced to the level of a commodity: the "devaluation" of "care" into something that can be “bought and sold.”

It can’t. We’ve been trying, but it ISN'T WORKING. (And I'm sure we'll KEEP trying—that's why it'll take "10 to 20 years." And that's NOT "hopeful.")

"Sex for money" is called prostitution; “religionists” get upset about that. But what is something even more scandalous, like "CARE FOR MONEY," called?

I think it's called the American health care "industry."

And why aren’t “spiritual people” upset by THAT?