Health care is a right

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2009

I wish the letter to the editor (against health care reform) that appeared in last Sunday’s Vicksburg Post had been written three years ago. Then I could have easily explained to my elderly parents why their daughter had to die of  treatable cancer.

I could have said, “It’s OK Mom and Dad, treating her would have been just like giving her two free cars or better yet, a four-bedroom house for nothing. She didn’t have insurance, so giving her ‘free’ treatment would have degraded the health insurance of the worthy ones, so it is better that she died.”

I’m sure my father, who had dementia, might have better understood if the notion of health care being a luxury were explained to him. He would ask every day about Cecilia, his little miracle. We stopped telling him after a while because he would mourn anew each and every time, but maybe he just needed to understand that her life was the equivalent of a new car, a luxury she didn’t deserve because she couldn’t afford health insurance.

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The funny thing is, the joke is on those who would deny health care to all. My sister’s condition caused her to loose consciousness and drive off the road. She spent three days in emergency care and then died from her cancer. She didn’t have insurance, so the incredible cost of those three days (which could have been completely avoided) landed on everyone who has insurance.

Will this note have any influence on those who believe health care is a luxury? Absolutely not. I’ll leave them to choke on their hate and greed. What I can do is speak for my sister whose voice was stolen from her. Basic health care is a human right, and now is the time to get health care reform; no amount of hate-mongering changes that truth.

Connie Soballe