An emotional plea for all of us

Last night comedian Jimmy Kimmel explained why he was absent from his show last week. His wife gave birth to a son who had a life-threatening heart deformity and underwent immediate open heart surgery. All are home now and doing well, but the emotional monologue was a wrenching reminder that health crises can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of income, race, religion, or political affiliations. I hope most of the country was watching and understood that we are more alike than we are different. And I hope the members of Congress were watching and got the message. Our health care system is critically important for everyone and must be managed in a way that helps everyone and denies no one.

As Kimmel himself put it: “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”

19 thoughts on “An emotional plea for all of us

    1. I hope the Kimmels can feel all the love and warm thoughts that have been sent their way since last night.

      Thank you for the nomination, but I decided long ago not to hand out a few awards when so many blogs deserve them.

      1. Yeah, it’s hard to make choices like that, especially when they constantly evolve. It also gives me the odd feeling–now that I’ve done it–of participating in a blog version of a chain letter (I always ignored those things, but not this time, I guess).
        Anyhoo–have fun and keep writing!

  1. As he says, having a child changes everything.
    There are those who say people are playing God and interfering when they shouldn’t in life or death situations…but then again, we play God every time we put up a stop sign, build a bridge, or put a life jacket on a child, right?
    Will be interesting to watch him grow with his kid. Best to him – and all children

    1. We have the knowledge and the means to save lives, and that’s what we should be doing. Those politicians in DC aren’t playing partisan politics; they’re playing with people’s lives.

      1. Watching closely.
        Our state was far better off before the current health care bill with a state high pool for those with persisting conditions, free family clinics in schools, no one could be turned away at hospitals, and affordable choices for insurance.All Kids were covered under CHIPS – parents just had to enroll them. There were still problems, but people managed. Not every state was in as good a shape. (All of the above gone now.)
        Watching closely as the current bill talks about “equal care available for all” but that’s not true if you are over 65-70. There’s a part that means “care offered as long as cost effective.” What this means is the elderly are faced with a panel composed of hospital administrator, medicare/medicaid rep, social worker, insurance company person where they discuss things like “yes, you are improving with therapy and your doctor agrees you should continue but we won’t pay for it any more (as you are so old and will never be back to 100% or have it all fixed), quality of life (all you have ahead of you is pain, deterioration of body/condition, being helpless in bed, expenses, hardship for family….on and on) and end of life (“we know you have left instructions, but” have you considered how difficult ongoing care and more treatments which only delay inevitable are for your family? On and on…)
        Doctors fight to keep these “healthcare teams” away from patients who may be old, but still have quite a bit of miles left.
        Who determines the age of “old” and of no point working on? Some of these team memebers’ family don’t live long at all – so 70 appears ancient to them. But my family routinely lives to 100 and deserved the chance for the best quality of life including medical treatments and therapy. I lay 2 members of my family’s deaths at this healthcare bill, the administration, and those “team members”. My cousin stepped out for lunch after sitting with her father who was cleared to go home the next day after being treated for bronchitis (breathing treatments recommended – and worked, but doc was battled to get them – cost effective..patient was 101). Cousin came back to find dad in tears and sobbing he had decided after talking with the healthcare team that he would stop eating and drinking liquids and “let nature take its’ course” We tried but could do nothing – died 24 hrs later.
        And we fought for another one (94) – different hospital, different city, different state, different hospital system, different team – same battle. That one got to go home and survived 6 more years.
        Hardy bunch – so who gets to determine “old” and not worth bothering with?
        Treatment – unless not cost effective – (even if you did put a hefty bunch of money into the system) that’s what we have now. I wary at this point and would prefer to watch over myself.
        So just beware and read the fine print – all of it. Contact your elected officials at state and federal level.
        Everyone – read all of it and consider what it means….maybe to yourself
        (and yeah, I’m pretty angry about my elderly family members – and all of us eventually – being collateral damage)

        1. Your stories would be extremely disturbing even if I weren’t 74 yrs old. I hope I’m never in a situation where anyone but my doctor gets to decide my treatment and prognosis. Bureaucrats and politicians catering to their own best interests are not licensed physicians and should never be allowed to make healthcare decisions for anyone.

          1. More than ever it’s important to have an advocate for patient in room at all times – until they get all this straightened out. We lost 2 to the ACA system and managed to rescue 1 who happily went back living in his apt at a retirement community for a number of years.
            It is age discrimination.
            Beware, right now, doctors are constantly being over ridden by bureaucrats and insurance companies. (Our kid is a surgeon and the stories are terrifying)
            A battle no one should have to fight- especially when not feeling good.
            Best to just stay as well as possible right now. Right in aging the bullseye with you.

    1. It’s hard to believe anyone would vote in a way that threatens those with pre-existing conditions. But without that federal mandate, I don’t for a minute believe all the states will or even can ensure such coverage continues. Obamacare has many shortcomings, but that certainly isn’t one of them. Trump will do a victory lap (or 10 or 20) over this, but hopefully the Senate will have sense enough to shoot it down.

... and that's my two cents