A Healthcare Professional Talk About What She Sees
In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather interviews Kim Meudt about her involvement with the Camden County Green Party and the New Jersey Universal Healthcare Coalition. Kim is a healthcare professional and has seen first hand the effects that lack of universal healthcare can have on individuals and communities. She shares her personal stories as well as some astounding facts about the costs and inequality in American healthcare. She is working to change the system and is an inspirational voice to those looking to do the same. Heather and Kim share of bottle of white wine and discuss improved Medicare for all.
Work with The Green Party
Kim is the chair of the green party of Camden county, NJ. They are taking grassroots activism to the streets with things like street cleaning and raised bed gardening. They are also canvassing for senate candidate Madelyn Hoffman. Camden is an underrepresented and diminished community, its great to see the Green Party out there doing the hard work.
Universal Healthcare Coalition
Kim is also part of the NJ Universal Healthcare Coalition. She has worked in the healthcare field for the last 18 years. 15 of those years were in emergency medicine. She has seen the medical care field before the Affordable Care Act, during, and now as it is being dismantled. She notes some good points like children being able to stay on the parent’s insurance longer. Sadly, there are many downsides like 5,000-dollar deductibles. Heather then mentions she has a 4,000-dollar deductible and that is essentially the same thing as not having health insurance. Who can afford 4,000-dollars to see the doctor?
58% of call personal bankruptcies are due to medical issues. Clearly the Affordable Care Act is not the solution to providing adequate medical care. Kim has seen the failing first hand as a healthcare worker. She wants us to move to an improved Medicare for all system. This would be a total head to toe and cradle to grave coverage. It wouldn’t matter what you make or what your job is. No one should choose medicine or food.
The bill HR-676 which is an improved Medicare for all bill is in congress right now. It just need the political will to pass it. We already pay for Medicare to cover us in older age. We could expand that to 100% coverage, so no one is left behind. Politicians need to fight for it, and not use it as a talking point with no pay off.
Horror Stories with Insurance
Ms Muedt shares a story of a patient she saw the day before who was having leg pain. The doctor suspected blood clots and sent him for an MRI. Insurance denied coverage to the patient. A blood clot can be fatal in an instant and insurance companies are making medical decisions in opposition of doctor orders. Insurance companies make medical professionals explain their medication choices to several different people. This takes valuable time away that they could be using to serve patients. Insurance companies look for every reason to deny coverage. Kim tells the story of a medication that cures hepatitis. A 12-week course of this medication costs $84,000.00 in the US. In India this medication costs only 900 dollars. All the while, CEO’s of insurance companies make from 20-40 million dollars a year.
All these medical companies keep merging into larger and larger monopolies and getting more power all the time. If we are only going to have one company, lets make it a government run socialized medical company. 80% of all money spent on medical research is already government funded. We socialize the risks and privatize the profits.
Universal Healthcare improves patient outcomes. It removes the fear of not being able to afford going to a doctor. Its always easier to prevent something with regular screening than to treat it once it is severe. This helps reduce cost and improve outcomes. Plus, there is the added most important benefits of reducing pain and suffering. If we have Medicare for all there are holistic benefits the government would have to consider. Clean air and bikeable cities would become more and more cost effective. Counties with socialized healthcare often have a cleaner environment. That all ties into an eco-socialist system to improve the lives of everyone.
You can not put a price on human rights, but in this case, it saves everyone money. A for profit health care system is insanity.