Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Swimming Through Life

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life (and death)

The Rogue Speaks:

In August of 2012, Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal announced that he would not expand the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.  He was firm that he would not take federal money to expand the state-based program which would provide approximately 650,000 low-income Georgians with health coverage in 2014.  His reason? That it would be too expensive.

(Now we all know that's not the real reason, don't we!!  If the Affordable Care Act had been created by a Republican administration, Deal would be all for it.  Unfortunately, the Republicans have said that should they come into power, the first thing they will do is repeal what they refer to as "Obamacare.")

Can anyone put a dollar amount on just how much a life is worth?  Is my life worth more than the life of someone on Medicaid?  My answer to that is NO, and here is why:

Our nephew Matt is dying of congestive heart failure.  He is 32 years old.  He has suffered from this disease for MANY years, and is now hospitalized, and needing a heart transplant.   His father died from this disease when he was only 35.

Matt is dearly loved by his big family.  He is smart, spiritual, loving, funny, helpful, and very, very ill.  He was able to work for a while, and sometimes had two jobs, until his condition began to seriously deteriorate, and he had to go on disability.  Even that has not stopped him.  He enrolled in college classes, determined to better himself.  But those days are now over.
Matt is on Medicaid. Have you ever known personally someone on Medicaid?  I'll bet Governor Deal has not.  He hasn't a clue as to just what that means to a person who is struggling to survive and become a productive citizen.

I hear talk all the time about " those people who use the system," and how taxpayers are paying for those folks' health care.  Matt is not one of "those people." He is a member of our family.  If you had a beloved family member who was seriously ill and on Medicaid, just how much would it be worth to you to see him get the help he needed? What if your own contribution could never be enough?

It has been said that America is a "great nation" because it is always ready to help out countries in need.  Just what is the difference between the citizens of those countries and our own citizens?  Do many of those citizens "work the system?"  How do we know?  We have been told that "charity begins at home," and America is our home.  Too bad that our home has become so dysfunctional that it can't help its own people in their time of need.


Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Unfortunately, every word you said was true. My state of Texas is the exact same as yours, and that is so pathetic.
I've often thought that, if our outreach to the poor of other countries was turned back to our own country, how many of our own people would be saved from starving and homelessness and given the medical care that they need. People of other countries need us, but so do our own.
My heart goes out to your nephew -- I pray that he gets the help that he needs.

artmusedog said...

Well written and great point ~ Lots of healing hugs to your nephew and family ~ We do not take very good care of 'our people' in the USA and more and more it is becoming 'us' and 'them' ~ When we are all connected and need good care ! ~ I agree, Judy ~ A case of the'rotten apples' spoil it for those in true need ~ carol - artmusedog ^_^

Karen S. said...

What a sad story about your nephew and his father as well. God bless him. I know a little about living with a person with such an illness. My sister was born with what my mother called heart trouble. They did scrape together money to have some sort of surgery to help correct it, before I was born. It left her with a scar, from her stitches, I swear it was more than 12 inches long. It look almost like a railroad track! She was born in Germany and the doctors were sure she wouldn't live beyond five years. She almost made it to her 19th birthday. She was my only sibling.

EG CameraGirl said...

Oh, how sad that your nephew is so sick, Judie!

I'm afraid a large percentage of people are mean spirited and it sounds like your governor is one of them.

Lola said...

Can only endorse what the commenters above have said, Judie.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...


You have no idea how my heart hurts hearing this story.

My son was 30 when he died of a heart attack, his father was only 42 when we lost him. My husband was actually on Medicare when he died and on the heart/lung transplant list. He had insurance when he first got sick, but after not being able to work for a while, his insurance was cancelled. When he went on full disability, Medicare kicked in and it was a godsend for our family as we struggled with losing our husband and father. He was one of the hardest working people I ever knew and deserved the help he got when he needed it.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately having recently met a young gay couple who are trying to adopt a child in Utah and whose marriage was just invalidated by the state. I'm sure none of these politicians know anyone whose lives are so impacted by their ignorance as is the case here.

This comment is turning into a post, but please know that my love and prayers are coming "across the ethers" to your family at this time and that you have a friend who understands exactly how hard all this is.



fredamans said...

Bending God's ear and keeping Matt in my prayers.

fredamans said...

Bending God's ear and keeping Matt in my prayers.

Cathy Kennedy said...

The sad truth is that good people who were once hard-working tax contributors get drug down by the system. A system that seem so eager to give our money to nations that hate us during crisis or illegals, or our own dead beats that those truly in need are the hardest hit.

I wish the US government regardless of who is in office would take care of her people first. Charity SHOULD begin at home!

Pam Beers. said...

Your nephew, Matt is in our prayers. As for the government, tsk, tsk.

Lately, I have found many mean-spirited, ego-centric people who are so unaware of reality. They have somehow lost their way along with the dysfunctional government representatives (?) we voted into office.

Somehow the human condition is sadly lacking in a strong spiritual presence. Again, Matt is in my prayers.

storybeader said...

Oklahoma is very much the same. I don't understand the so-called compassionate people who live in the south.. I feel lucky that my job provides health care benefits because I wouldn't be able to afford my medicine and doctors without it! {:-D

Claudia Schlottman said...

Hey Judy,

You know how this speaks to me! But first I want to send my prayers and good energy to Matt and everyone who loves him.

Parrish is on Medicaid, doesn't qualify for Medicare because he wasn't able to remain in the work force after he got sick at age 26 and thus didn't earn enough money. Shouldn't there be exceptions for the severely mentally ill who really never were able to work?

So, we deal with the Medicaid Nightmare every day, especially lately. Nonpaying patients get short shrift, make no mistake. They are shuttled out of hospitals as fast as possible, their conditions be damned. Parrish is getting the care he is now because I bulldogged everyone I could get my hands on.

Why aren't we, his parents, taking care of his heath needs? Quite simply, we can't afford to. P's SSI check is $410 a month! We have to subsidize that just to keep him in food and shelter. Last year, we spent nearly $25,000 on private hospitals, and now that P is sicker, there is no way we can keep spending that kind of money. We'll all end up on Medicaid!

Yes, charity does begin at home! I agree that we should care for our own first. If there weren't so many crooks and morons in Washington, we would have enough money to not only care for our own but to send relief abroad.

BTW, we had a decent visit with P this afternoon. He's still out there on Thorazine but not manic or angry.

Love this post!!! You are terrific (if a little bratty!)


Pondside said...

I don't want to stick my nose into the affairs of another country - just have to say though, that the America that I know and love isn't a country that lets its own citizens suffer. Those politicians need a jolt of reality - real life - real struggles - the reality of not having insurance.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Oh! so much sympathy for you, Matt, and all his loved ones. How untenable!
Your post has engendered some passionate and painful responses.

My brother-in-law who was a math teacher and very successful wrestling coach for over 27 years is now a throw-away person. He contributed so generously to society for many years, but now that he can't take care of himself, he is useless and unwanted.
That is just a brief sketch or emotional response to the situation. He is actually in a very caring group home, but dependent on state aid (Arizona). His family (most especially my husband) has contributed time and money to the best of their ability.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We have gone through some of this with my mom. It is just a mess.

Annesphamily said...

Hi lady! I am so happy to be here! You stopped by my blog and I was so happy to see you there! Oh boy, I get to step on my soapbox too! Medicaid! Yikes! Aacckk! Ugh! Our government wants to control us and they want to help some but not all! Hmmmm......I have spent nearly 31 years in health care! I am a qualified expert on the subject. To start out, I work with a gal who had a child young, age 15. She married her husband, they had two more kids. He is not a legal resident and oh der, it is another whole messy story! But....Jessica's little girl Lily hs a heart condition When she was a baby she kept telling us she cried hard and seems like breathing is difficult! The primary dr kept saying it was nothing! Well pal did you go to school to be a CARDIOLOGIST!? NO! Of course not! You studied a little of this and that and settled on being a primary care dr. I said Jessica, kick the damn door down. I can still round house kick like Brice Lee( altho not as forceful) and I will do it for you! Sure as shoot she got an appt. with a peds cardio dr. Lily had open heart surgery at 8 months old! She is three today! A real hoot. I will have to tell you a story about how she will probably grow up to be a dr. herself. The kid is hysterical! SHe is prissy and all girly girl but she can set up a procedure tray with her Doc McStuffin doctor kit we got for Christmas before you can say, "hey what the heck is that kid doing?" Long story short, Lily was dropped from Medicaid Janauary 1, 2014. Yeaaaa, now they get to pay $40 co pay on Colorado Access for every stinking visit she has and the kid gets a blood draw every single Monday! Plus Jessica works sporadically when the office needs her and her hubby works minimal hours. Their story is sad and they keep truckin along. But Medicaid needs ot be overhauled. We have patients who abuse the system. They need it like you and I do! Drivign brand new cars, carrying iphones and designer handbags and owning property in Arizona and Clifornia! Hellllllooooooooo.....Yet people that need the benefits, such as Matt your neighbor and Lily can not get what they need. Next I will share my brother-in-laws story with you! He is currently living with us. Double stroke, served in the military but not during war time so no in pat. benefits for him! SO he gets Medicaid and he still has a staggering medical bill from the hospitalization in Montana where he was living! Arrrrgh.....our system is flawed. People who don't need it are living the high life and those that have no where to turn can not get help. That is one of the reasons I believe hell exists. I think it will be filled with many, many corrupt people who refuse to help those who need help. Then fill their own deep pockets with money they steal from the taxpayers who foot all the bills in this country!
As for Matt, I am going to have everyone I know pray for him. It breaks my heart when I see this happening. I am sure he would qualify for one of these other plans but the co pays will bankrupt Bill Gates much less someone who has no means of support. For Matt and for Lily and all those like them my heart breaks. Judie, you are a doll and I love ya.

Jenny said...

Life is such a precious thing and that goes for every life...

It saddens me that your loved ones are dealing with such a difficult struggle and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

As for those people that just be lazy and live off other people's hard work, knock it off!

Thanks for linking to the letter "L".