Is health care right?


Is health care right? The United States remains the only developed country in the world that cannot agree on an answer. Earlier this year, I visited Athens, Ohio, where I grew up in the Appalachian mountains. As it continues to rage, the debate over whether to abolish, replace or repair the affordable care act is so fierce. So I started asking people if they thought health care was right. The answer is always interesting.
A friend asked me to contact a forty-seven-year-old woman and I would call maria darden. She and her husband, Joe, lived in a long gravel driveway that snaked in the woods on the country road. “You might feel like you’re ‘saving’ in the movie,” she says, but that’s not the case. They have a clean, spacious double modular home, flower wallpaper, each family photos, found on the surface of the sideboard and a bunch of cut roses, and the yard absurd friendly dog. Maria told me she was sitting on the kitchen table with Joe.
She joined the army in high school and married her recruiter – Joe is 11 years older than her – but she had to receive medical help a year later. She suffered severe fatigue, double vision, joint and neck pain and muscle weakness. At first, doctors thought she had multiple sclerosis. When this was ruled out, they were at a loss. After Joe left the army, he worked as an electrical technician at an industrial plant nearby. Maria worked as a secretary and office manager and had a daughter. But her condition worsened and soon she was too ill to work.
“I don’t even have enough energy to cook a pound of hamburger,” she said. “I had to blow it up in half, then sit down and rest, and then stand up and blow up the rest. I don’t have enough energy to spare a room in the house. “Eventually, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. She was addicted to opioids and prescribed the pain in her joints and began taking methadone. Her liver began to fail. In 2014, she was sent to an assessment of a liver transplant 200 miles from the Cleveland clinic. There, after more than two decades of deterioration in the health of maria, the doctors found out what the problem was: sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that causes sclerosing nodules in the entire body. The doctor gave her immunosuppressive drugs and the nodules narrowed. Within a year, she had saved herself from methadone.

“It’s amazing,” she said. In middle age, as her daughter grew up and her army reserve team grew, maria returned to school. She has been reporting on her husband’s work. “They have amazing insurance,” she said. “I think it pays $200,000 a year. But we also paid for it. ”
This is an understatement. Between the $6,000 deductible and the high co-payments and premiums, darden’s annual cost is $15,000. They hardly came. Then one day in 2001, Joe was overshadowed by a girl scout meeting for no apparent reason, and fell two flights of stairs leading to a severe concussion. It put him out of work for six months. The couple ran out of money because of medical expenses and his loss of income.
“We have to file for bankruptcy,” said Joe. He told me reluctantly. It took them more than five years to dig out the hole. He considered bankruptcy “very disgraceful”, he said, and few had told him, nor even his family. That’s why they don’t want me to use their names. He thinks it’s a personal failure – not the government. In fact, the whole idea of government involvement in healthcare financing has troubled him. He says one person’s right to health care is another’s burden. It makes sense to take other people’s money, and he doesn’t see how it will be.
“Everyone has access to health care,” he says, “but they should contribute to the cost.” He points out that anyone can walk into an emergency hospital, get treatment, and then charge. “Yes, they might have collectors following them,” he said. “But I believe that everyone should contribute to the treatment they receive.”


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