Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coins For Chemo

We were raised in a town with give or take, 4200 people. It is a very close knit community where everyone knows your dirty business and we try to help each other out when the chips are down. We are Mainers, its how we do.

In the past few years we have lost three vital industries with the closing of a shoe, furniture, and wood product factory.What are our fellow bubs doing to make ends meet?

1. Moved to find new employment
2. Rely of government assistance (gasp!)
3. Ask fellow bubs for assistance.. or "pan handling"

I don't mean "pan handling" as in someone homeless with their dog on the street looking for a few bucks for a small french fry, I mean someone who is SICK and has NO HEALTH INSURANCE to pay for their care. I met a woman last week, she was in her late 30s with a sign and donation can.

Today driving home from work, I saw this  young lady once again. It wrenches my gut to see somebody in this predicament. What have we as a society come to that we allow this to happen? A young person with a life ahead of them, begging for coin to pay for chemo.

There has been talk for years about the need for universal health care in the United States. Seeing what I saw last week and today, I believe the time is now.

The cost of health insurance has ballooned while the benefits have stayed the same or decreased. As of 2008 the average single adult paid an average of $648.00/month for private health care coverage. Compare this to $320/month for MaineCare (Medicaid) It cost twice as much to insure someone through private insurance as opposed to government sponsored insurance.

The questions remains, why can we not add a tax of 1.5% on top of the 1.5% paid to medicaid and have all Americans covered with universal health care? This would translate into more money in people's pay check as they would not be paying their percentage of private health care.

How many more people will be begging for chemo? How many more people will be begging to live?


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