This is my brother. Today is his birthday. He would have been 43 today.
My brother died on a Fourth of July from a fatal dose of lack of healthcare.
He had been diagnosed with Melanoma that went unchecked and untreated for almost a year.
In the last year of his life, my brother didn’t fight his cancer. He fought a medical system turned against the poor and the uninsured. He fought hospitals that kicked him out for not being able to pay. He fought a system of bureaucracy and financials that guaranteed health care only for the wealthy or those tied into a company insurance pool.
In one of the last memories I have with my brother, we sat together in a waiting room with several other dozens of people. All of us, together, staring up at a television to keep us occupied. It was a county hospital, so the only thing they were licensed to televise was C-span, and C-span was hosting the senatorial debates leading up to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Some old senator’s face filled the screen. Some graying, balding, withered old senator, saying: We don’t need this bill! We don’t need to do anything! This is America. We already have the best healthcare in the world! When people are sick, we take them to the hospital and we take care of them. It’s what we do!
The freezing chill of the contrast of me sitting in a room full people desperately seeking health care while seeing this man and hearing these words come from the top of my government was a physical sensation down my back.
Hours passed, my brother was seen and sent away with nothing except for a written prescription for one week of chemo pills. When we went to the pharmacy to get those seven pills we were given a bill for over ten-thousand dollars. We bought gummy bears instead and went home.
Now from what I understand, this Jesus Christ fellow of yours gave away free healthcare. He tended to the blind, the lame, the sick and the malnourished. And not only did he not demand any payment for his services, but he admonished his followers to give up all their wealth and serve the people.
And yet, YOU~ you the Republicans, you the Religious Right, you, the Moral Majority – the Party of Christ – you denied us a public option and you refused to give us universal healthcare. You fought and resisted and whined and lied through the whole ordeal of simply trying to provide healthcare to everyone. And you so thoroughly butchered the Affordable Healthcare Act, and empowered Right-wing states to refuse it, and formed it to serve your purpose – That if you couldn’t stop it from being passed into law, you could muck it up badly enough to justify automatically killing it. Which you’ve tried to do now, well over fifty times. In legislation and in the courts and in the states you have tried to kill this maligned baby for which you yourselves are responsible.
And that is the spectacle my brother was entertained with in lieu of healthcare for the last nine months of his life.
My brother died on a Fourth of July from a fatal dose of lack of healthcare. Had his cancer been treated when it was discovered, he would be 43 today. Happy Birthday Phillip! If there really is a Heaven and a Hell, then these hypocrite bastards will be joining you shortly. 😉 You know what to do…