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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Do You Value Life

My father was a decorated veteran of WWII and Korea. He raised seven kids and loved them all to no end. Dad died from Alzheimer’s disease and the only one that cared for him for the last eight or nine years of his life was me. The only person that knew of his last wishes was me. All of the burden from seven children was on me to sign a DNR which is a Do Not Resuscitate should he go into a medical condition that could end in his death. I spent the last night with him holding his hand and he had no clue as to who I was. And yet I knew who he was. That was all that mattered.

There is a ton of controversy over the current health care legislation in Washington and there should be. I don’t want a blanket Gestapo health care plan but we all know that the system is broken. Nobody in America would drive by an accident with people, children, babies, bleeding and dying on the side of the road and yet that is what the current system does. Our health care system only cares for the people that can afford it and if you don’t have a job, you have an emergency room health care system. The costliest system there is. That means it is broken. Our health care system sucks! It’s one of the worst health care systems in all of the industrialized nations of the world.

I have Parkinson’s or some form of it according to doctors and the director of Neurology at UMASS Medical hospital in Worcester. I haven’t had insurance to treat it for a year and a half. I lost my job. I don’t bitch about it, I deal with it. I don’t have medication for it, I don’t bitch about it either. I do however have a living will.

I don’t want my children visiting a vegetable in a hospital or nursing home for a decade. I don’t want machines keeping me alive for one more second than God intended. That is my right and my decision to decide. I have made my peace with my God and I am not afraid. My path is not easy but my words for now are the truth. I am one of the people lost in the health care system that is broken beyond belief. I have my faith in God but I would like a few more years with my children. Could a health care system for all do that?

Nobody is proposing to kill the elderly. That would be idiotic just as it sounds. Matter of fact, the person putting in that addendum to the health care plan is a Republican doctor in the Congress. All he is asking for is a living will for all. I don't have a problem with that but I do have a problem with his political party selling it as a fear factor even though it came from their own political party as an addendum!

Thought for the process of the discussion for you to think about. Don’t you think you have a right in the discussion as to how you want to be treated in the end of your days? I know for a fact that I sure as hell do! Whatever organs I have that are of use, take em, use them, do whatever you want with them. My time in this vessel is or will be done. Anyone mocking this life changing legislation has never read the current wording by Senators Dodd and Kennedy. What has been added to it is not of their ownership.

Life is what it is, love it while you have it to enjoy! Go out of your way to make someone smile while you can.


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Blogger by Michael Boh said...

I am so sorry to hear that Matt. Like so many Americans you deserve better. I wish I could say something that would help, but I know you are doing everything you can to make the best of it. You come across as a fighter, even if it seems life is cheating you right now.

I only wish more "conservatives" could let go of their anger (and ignorance) and realize that most of the industrialized world reaches out to people in need (like in your situation) and helps them without going bankrupt. I just don't understand the Republican opposition today. To me, it seems like nickels and dimes. Penny wise and pound foolish.

They're willing to spend so much on so many corrupt adventures, but aren't willing to help their fellow Americans acquire health insurance - even if giving up something would help others. They call themselves "christian" and "pro-life," yet are so comfortable opposing what Jesus preached, and allowing so much pain and death. They are truly an enigma.

I've become very depressed lately because of recent critical issues (the Republicans ignored for so long) and their opposition. Their lack of empathy in a world where we're more dependent on each other than ever makes no sense to me.

They never complained about waste when it came to weaponry, war, Wall Street or retribution, yet recoil in horror when we try to protect and heal the innocent and the needy. It's a given that Jesus would find them confused and lost. To me, as just an ordinary man, their words of late, and opposition, is simply unkind, cold, inhumane, and selfish. There but for the grace of God go I.

What matters most at this difficult time is our souls, and you Matt seem to have a good one from what I've read. You deserve better, and will find it with the support of your family and friends - loved ones all I'm sure. You represent all Americans suffering right now. You deserve our help. Let's hope the Democrats can act in time to make your life a little longer and less painful. Rejecting fear and igorance, May God bless you my friend. Michael Boh

11:29 AM  
Blogger sue said...

Me too Matt! You my friend will be blessed mightily for caring for your Father, you are so deserving and I know God will answer your prayers! My husband and I have no insurance right now either, I'll get my prescriptions in generic form and Butch will have to put off getting his chest ct scan for now. I hope things turn around for you too, hang in there honey! I have faith in the Democrats and Obama there will be healthcare reform, we can not stop fighting the evil on the right! Michael has said all there is to say, its horrifying what the right is saying and trying to do! God bless you sweetie, and all those deserving in this country, never stop fighting!! xoxo

7:31 PM  
Blogger The GTL™ said...

Wow, my brother. As time goes on I learn more and more about you but the one thing not too many others in the 'Spheres can say is they've held countless phone conversations with you and your ability to see the glass as "half-full" 90% of the time you're being dealt a SH*& sandwich is as inspiring as your columns.

God Bless and you KNOW I'm pulling for you and yours ALWAYS :-)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Thank you for your kind words my friends. Michael, Sue, and my bro GTL from anotha motha (I love that). We all do what we can and if the good lord is willing, we open our eyes in the morning. God bless to all of you and you don't know how much I appreciate your friendship.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

I'm not a Biblical scholar, I'm just an evil pain and death loving Conservative, but I can't find the Book where Jesus preached we should grant ourselves lavish lifestyles and benefits and indenture our children for generations to come to pay for them as they struggle to survive in the world of reduced expectations we are engineering for them. Was that the Book of Marx?

I can't help but reflect that "most of the industrialized world" is China, India, Malaysia, the Middle East, and other places where they enslave themselves or risk there lives to come here. For longer than our lives we have been far better than "most of the industrialized world". Why would you want to follow them down that dark road. Most of them want to come here.

Matt, I am sorry to hear this bad news. I also don't have insurance. I rarely in my life have been able to afford it. At my age I should have it but I am finding more important things just now. Maybe later. Health insurance is not health care. I do not want to be forced into a DMV like health care system or fined thousands of dollars for not having it. As to older people I agree that the Logan's Run talk is over the top a bit but I would point out that the countries in "most of the industrialized world" that have nationalized their health care systems do ration care. They limit the quality of care to everyone,as Mexico does, or they limit care to those it deems too old or too fat or to limited to be worth the cost, but worth it to who? A bureaucrat looks at your value to the state or the politicians, will he pay enough taxes or make enough political contributions to be worth the expenditure of precious government funds? We have seen this over and over in other countries and we are seeing this attitude in our leaders today in other areas like the car dealership closings that favor political cronies and donors. Health care should not be allocated this way.

My best wishes, Sir.

8:50 PM  
Blogger sue said...

Health insurance is not healthcare... well sir if you don't have insurance then you most likely must go to the ER and that cost thousands of dollars depending on what you are there for, if you can't pay that bill then who does? the taxpayer? We all need to have insurance, affordable insurance. This country can and must do it or we can not call ourselves a civilized nation! This rationing argument is just fearmongering!!! (((hugs to you Matt)))

8:53 AM  
Blogger sue said...

AND BTW... we have already indentured our children for generations to pay for 2 continuing wars, nuf said.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Good morning, Sue.
I am 58 years old and have always paid my medical bills, even when I legally did not have to. Every penny.

Medical insurance is relativity new. When did we become a civilized nation? Are are we not yet there? When you say affordable does this mean it must be affordable by the poorest or we are not civilized? Were we not civilized for our first two hundred years as we rose to be the most powerful and free nation in the history of mankind?

Can you name one major nation that has national health care that has not rationed it, either quality or quantity? This is not new. The results are always the same and always predictable. This is not fear mongering but history.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

You can't be serious. Do you know what the deficit is for this year? Your solution to borrowing from our children to pay for our "civilized" lifestyle today is to borrow four times as much, because we've already destroyed their future? I find that hard to believe. You are too good a person.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Military spending is about 20% of the Federal budget. Don't you think the other 80% might have something to do with the debt?

9:28 AM  
Blogger sue said...

I can remember back in the 70's, as a new parent taking her babies to the DR, we didn't have such a thing as insurance we just paid the DR his small fee. Then came insurance paperwork to be filled out a few years later and handing that to the DR. then came the word HMO's. And so from there was an explosion of outrageous fees and forms and pharmacy co-pays, dr. co-pays etc etc. I'm no expert but can we blame insurance companies?? I don't know, but I do know if our country can charge huge fees for medical care then we all must be able to have insurance. There are thousands who have no choice but to get care from ER's and never intend to pay the bills. Yes we are a civilized nation, and civilized nations should care about the health and well-being of its citizens, rich or poor.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

"can we blame insurance companies??"

We can blame anyone we want of course, but if we are looking for real answers than that is pointless and wrong. The insurance companies kept medical care affordable for many people who could not otherwise have afforded it as prices increased. There are three things that drive up costs,
--Medical advances, state of the art care is expensive and ours is the best in the world.
--Predatory lawyers and lawsuits by lowlifes like John Edwards. Do you know how he became a multimillionaire? Try to find an obstetrician in the state he practiced in. When Clinton was President and the Republicans controlled Congress they passed a tort reform bill that Clinton had promised he would sign. Forty eight hours after getting a visit from a representative of the trial lawyers he vetoed it. I don't mean to make this a partisan issue as there is blame enough on both sides but this is a clear example of the problem. The trial lawyers are big donors to the Democrats. They clearly influence Republicans as well. Neither side can be trusted in this area and should stay out of it.
-- Government tampering. Through the 70s and on to today the government has been increasingly interfering with the health care system to the detriment of all of us. When the state comes in and mandates coverage you don't need or want and increases demand for services without payment or for reduced payment then the cost to paying customers must go up. You can not control a free market. It has never worked and has always kicked the butt of any government that tried. There is a good reason that the most repressive state run economies turn to free enterprise when they need to increase production and productivity.

On your own blog you mention the health plan of government officials. They are all guaranteed first class care for life. They will not and would not accept the program they want to force on you and me. Why not?

12:04 PM  
Blogger sue said...

Jonathan Alter a few minutes ago said " say one pill costs you 16.00, thats because there are those in the hospital with no insurance and no money, the hospital has to recoup some of the lost money so they get it from all of us by overcharges. Now they aren't his exact words, and I'm by far no expert, but SOMETHING has to be done!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our medical is so high also because we are constantly evolving with new technology,which is why people come to the US for innovative treatments.
The democrats have the votes to pass this then why don't they just pass it already?
I think I may know why because when it bankrupts us and care is rationed they don't want to be accountable.
Matt- I had no idea of your condition. There is an organization started by Montel Williams that helps people get free drugs from the drug companies,
I can't believe Medicaid can't help you being they help many others who many frankly don't deserve it.
I have a friend who is 37 and has been living off the system for 20 years with a "bad back"
My nieces x has tons of money(inherited) and gets methadone for 10 years now courtesy of NY state tax payers. I would say that you should get the help you need without having to overhaul an entire system.
I used to work with a guy with a form of Parkinson's and if he went out on disability he would not be able to continue the type of treatment he gets through his work insurance. It is where they inject botox into his nerves in his head. HE has tried many treatments and that is the only one that helps him. I have to wonder if that would be cost effective under a government plan. It isn't under disability.
I have nothing against raising taxes somewhat to help people with no insurance even though those same people are struggling. What I am against is having to give up the plan I and 80 % of Americans have to cost even more and have the care protocoled by the government.
The more we tax businesses out of business the more people are going to have to depend on government and I believe that is the goal here and of course to get votes. I doubt any politician wants this done without an ulterio motive. Call me skeptical but from wher I sit it stinks.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

worth a shot:

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That didn't work/Just google

Montel Williams Drug Plan

3:03 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Thanks for the pointers everyone that commented and sent emails.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Since the usual Republican scare stories about national health care in other developed countries have been raised here, this site may be of some interest. It collects actual experiences of Americans abroad who used those systems.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The French system is better than all the others. All the others are a nightmare.And what you aren't seeing is they do not provide healthcare except emergencies to non-citizens.
They didn't add 30 million illegals to their healthcare rolls.


12:33 PM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Check out the link I posted. Several other countries' systems are covered, not just France's.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well that's amaizng because I know 2 peopl who lived in ermany and Japan and they said the helthcare systems these were awful.
I guess they were comparing it to what they had here.


2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Irony that guy with the heart condition,his wife works with a friend of mine of all places in a Dr's office.
She said if this passes the doctor will probably throw himself off a building. Not to mention they will hae o donsize as well as all other busineesses who will be forced to pay an 8% increase on each employee. Enjoy your new eutopia.
So let's see most Canadians like their helthcare and most American like theirs. Cool let's change the whole thing.

5:08 PM  

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