On a lack of a safety net.

Feb 11 2012 Published by under Activism

I saw Kevin's post about his son on SciAm Blogs the other day. It just about broke my heart seeing all the hard decisions, the fear, and the suffering that Kevin and his family have gone through. I think his story should be read by as many people as possible, especially those in charge of health care policy. I spend my life researching for new cures, I want to make sure people can get them when they need them.

So I took the opportunity this morning to email my congresscritter, and I hope, if you agree, you will too (if you don't, well, then don't). The text of my email is below, if you'd like to use any of it. It's probably not the best, I'm rather inexperienced at emailing govt types, but lately I've been trying.

Dear Congresscritter,

I know that health care reform has not progressed with the speed necessary, but most of the time I don't myself realize how much it is hurting the people in our nation. I am comfortable and insured, but I know many people now who are not.

I would like to share with you the story of my friend Kevin. He has a Masters degree in Biology, is the father of two kids, and a fantastic science writer who educates thousands of people on marine science. He is uninsured. And recently his 6 year old son came down with pneumonia.

His story is here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/evo-eco-lab/2012/02/10/trying-to-catch-his-breathe-with-a-hole-ridden-safety-net/

A quote "Uninsured people look just like everyone else. They might look like they can easily afford the premiums and in fact might earn salaries similar to yours. But every family’s situations and employment-based coverage options are unique and this goes far beyond stereotypes of the “working poor”. My son could have suffocated from his pneumonia had we not sucked it up and rushed him to the hospital on Tuesday morning. If we were able to see a doctor a day earlier, he perhaps could have been treated at home as an outpatient with antibiotics. I don’t know what our final bill will be when we leave tomorrow morning, right now I don’t care. All I know is my son got better under the supervision of a wonderful team of nurses and pediatricians."

We are all trying to help him out as much as we can. I don't expect you to donate anything, but I would like you to think of him, and his son, as we push forward on health care. Share his story with other representatives, and know that his is only one story, among thousands of people suffering. Think of the lives, the suffering, and heck, the money we could save by being able to make sure that he and his children, and the many families like them, have a health safety net.

Thank you,
Scicurious, PhD

And if you'd like to give a little to help out Kevin and his family, please head over here.

5 responses so far

  • Kevin Z says:

    Thanks so much Sci. You made me tear up. This is the outcome I would prefer, action! When I wrote it, I wasn't sure what my goal was other than to show that this problem has a face and it looks a lot like other people.

  • Lali says:

    I love my job. I love my workplace. I want to say that up front because I really really mean it. But, I could be making more doing something else. One of the reasons I have stayed where I am for over a decade is the medical. My employer is incredibly generous with both benefits and making allowances for sick leave. If I made more money, perhaps I could afford to supplement my own benefits somewhere else, but with two small children I will always choose the devil I know over the devil I don't.

    Kevin's post made me acutely aware of how lucky I am to be in this situation. He and I, at least on paper, are similar. And our situations could easily be reversed. Thank you for writing to your representatives in Congress. I have done the same, and I will urge others to do so as well.

  • [...] as Scicurious writes, contact your congresscritter about this [...]

  • greg says:

    **JOIN OCCUPY***

    It floors me how people keep going on about this sort of thing when there is a revolutionary movement RIGHT NOW to solve the underlying problems that cause this. THESE PROBLEMS WILL NEVER GO AWAY UNTIL WE HAVE REAL DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE. You are playing whack-a-mole by focusing on health care. Health insurance is just one form of wealth basically. It makes no sense to demand one particular form of wealth in isolation in a society where the different forms can be traded readily.

    You can't smack these problems down one by one with the 1% undoing all your hard work in the blink of an eye the moment you turn away. THIS IS THE MOVEMENT, THIS IS THE TIME, THIS IS THE MASS REVOLT AGAINST ALL THIS SHIT THAT YOU HAVE WANTED FOR SO LONG, THAT YOU HAVE DREAMED OF, HIT THE STREETS NOW OR NEVER.

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