23 January 2008

Donna Smith shares her story

Donna Smith shares her story at Dandelion Salad, a blog that also has a quote from Rabbi Hillel as its motto: "That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study."

That sounds familiar somehow. I wonder if the health insurance industry has ever heard it. In any case, Donna and her husband Larry Smith were featured in Sicko. They're the bankrupt couple taking refuge in their daughter's storage room after they've lost their house. After working hard all their lives at jobs that offered health benefits. Single-payer supporters in Denver are very, very lucky to have them here, although we don't always know how to 1) best tap into their passion and talents, or 2) properly show them that we appreciate them.

The problem with single-payer advocacy, see, is that there's no money in it. And though Donna and Larry's work over the past year or so to move forward the cause proves that the libertarians and free-marketeers are wrong -- that people in fact are not only motivated by self-interest and profit, at the same time, there is rent to be paid.

I know that while Larry now is covered by Medicare, she is uninsured for the first time in her life. She writes about how it began, for them, at Dandelion Salad:
At the time, our insurance was good, but not great, but it did at least cover the things that he needed to have done. But like many Americans, our premiums started to creep up, and our co-pays and deductibles started to go up, and the coverage started to get worse. So just at the time when his health care needs were growing, our coverage was shrinking, and we were feeling some bad financial pressure from that.
Come on, fellow Americans. We can't all move to Canada, England or France. We need to fix what's wrong with this country. Not for us so much as for our children, grandchildren and on to at least the seventh generation.

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