Despite the fact that President Obama has done nothing to ensure that representatives from single payer groups (like nurses, doctors, and social justice advocates) have a seat at the health care reform talks, or at least that is how it has been presented by media, the right continues to make propaganda posters blaming Obama or their imagined “coming doom in health care.” Here is one such image:
The things that makes me laugh: this is exactly what it is like to go to managed care. When I go with my mother, who works in a hospital, to get her medications we take a number and wait in line for up to 1.5 hours just to get already prepared bottles. When I go with my father to check ups, we take a number and wait 1-3 hours past his appointment time to be seen. And sometimes, he arrives and they tell him they sent him the wrong day or the wrong time and tell him to come back. Once, he was actually having a serious health issue and they sent him to wait. After 30 minutes, I had to resurrect my old client advocacy voice and my professorial tone and demand my father be seen. I was lucky I had both training and social capital to trade on b/c when they did see him 5 minutes later, they determined that had he waited much longer he would have died.
Don’t let the conservatives fool you, managed care is what is managing to keep you from care, not single payer.
Ways to get involved:
- learn about the different types of health care systems offered around the world (don”t just search online)
- educated others or learn together about the issue
- research the differences in health care prior to the HMO-ization of N. American Health Care and after it
- learn about current plans put before Congress including HR 676: US National Health Insurance Act and S 703: Health Care for Every American (click individual boxes for more info on each piece of the plan)
- volunteer at local clinics serving underserved and high needs populations to see first hand what they go through
- spend some time sitting in those waiting rooms of big HMOs talking to people about their stories of health care and publish them (w/permission) on your blogs, tweet about blogging about it, etc.
- write a letter to the President demanding that he make good on his promises
I have lived with state sponsored health care and I have endured without it. While my experience does not reify, I can tell you there is nothing like going in for a check up, being seen at your appointment time by people who genuinely care about your health, provided free meds to manage any conditions, and then getting a follow up phone call (and once even a home visit after I missed my appointment) by my primary care physician when the only thing wrong was managing my disability. Comparing that to crying first in the doctor’s office as he explained I had a false “lapse in coverage” mark on my medical history that prevented him from giving me the medication I needed for my disability under my plan and that to re-establish care I would have to take an expensive test to prove I was differently-abled all over again, to sobbing uncontrollably in my car in the parking lot, unable to drive. 45 minutes later, a social worker and a nurse came out and handed me a sample of meds and told me they wished they could do more, several people had apparently alerted people inside that I was sobbing in my car. No matter what propoganda either political party uses to say that the later form of care or some modified version of it is better than the former, there are millions of stories like mine that say different.
You can read more about Pres. Obama and Democrats’ plans here.