Here is a story from a mother in Spokane, written up by Dr. Michael Huntington, who heard the story directly. She was asked if she would tell her story to the Universal Health Care Work Group on September 16, but her feelings were still too raw so it was submitted this way:
Another tragic story from our health care system.
On September 10, 2020 during informal conversation prior to a One Payer States on-line educational session I spoke with a woman who lives in Spokane Washington. She told me about her daughter who just turned 26 and is losing access to health care insurance through her parents. She does not know how she will afford health insurance. Her modest income may disqualify her from eligibility for Medicaid.
The daughter’s roommate died in mid-August, 2020 of COVID. The roommate had been ill for several days but was very worried about the cost of medical care. She adamantly refused to be taken in for attention. She died in an apartment bedroom as the daughter administered CPR.
I am a retired radiation oncologist here in Corvallis Oregon. Before and since I retired I have witnessed how our healthcare system discourages people from getting care when they need it. I saw patients coming in with advanced neglected cancers because they were more afraid of cost than they were of a serious illness they were sure they had. The young woman’s story above is yet one more tragic piece of evidence that all of us should have access to health care without fear of financial disaster.
Modifying the Affordable Care Act or expanding Medicaid will not be the solution. Neither of those options addresses the underlying problems of cost and complexity. A true single payer universal publicly funded health care system would adequately address these problems.
Mike Huntington MD
Secretary, One Payer States
September 13, 2020