Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:00am

Health care for America now

I went to [Washington,] D.C. last week and met with my congressman and senators to express the need for real health care reform and it was real productive.

Congressman Jim Cooper of the 5th district and my representative said he is in full support of President Obama and the plan for real health care reform to include the public option.

I also spoke with chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander and a staffer of Sen. Bob Corker and found them open to the discussion of health care reform. Their positions are different from that of my Congressman but there is room for some common ground.

I told the stories of patients and friends who have been crushed by the burden of health care cost. I tried to show how vulnerable the middle class is to financial devastation when a health care crisis develops in their lives. I shared the stories of a friend of mine who had a traumatic brain injury and is now facing bills that are leading his family to financial ruins and how his health coverage and prescription cost are so expensive that he may loose everything he has worked for his entire life. His family will suffer all because our health care system is broken.

We can't miss this opportunity as citizens to get involved in shaping the health care reform debate. I am optimistic that a plan that includes choice, access and coverage for all will come out of the house and am hopeful that the senate can achieve the same.

I’m hoping as a registered nurse to see the future of health care improved so that patients are treated as people and not commodities. We as a nation have the opportunity to say that we value life not only in the womb but through out the span of ones life. We can do this, and should do this now, as it is long overdue.

Michael Chapman, RN,

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152 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 9:33

Back from the North country. I guess that I missed the Bible study, once again. Wow, Ben Dover is losing it.....he's got a mean Jesus stewin' and brewin', he's got guns and he's pissed at government in general. Man, that sure sounds familiar.....sounds like Tim McVeigh or that zealous guy who recently murdered the "abortion doctor".

Ben, you gotta lighten up. It's only frickin' money...put it into perspective, man. it don't mean sheeeit.

Whose pictures are on the currency? Dead presidents, of course, if He were here today, Jesus might say, "Give to the dead presidents what is the dead presidents'."

By: NurseAdvocate on 7/1/09 at 9:50

I would like to say that as a nurse of eleven years I have never seen a patient with Medicare denied a procedure, surgery or treatment. I have seen many under private plans denied or offered a treatment other than that of their doctor’s choice. I have been denied personally a medication that my physician ordered because the insurance company insisted I try another first. With that said who is doing the rationing? Who is intervening between me and my doctor?

Medicaid and programs like TennCare is a whole different animal, primarily because it is administered by the states and has not been managed well.

I believe that we are already paying for the uninsured in the form of higher premiums and ultimately taxes because when the person becomes ill and ends up in our hospitals. We are all paying for their treatment and nursing home care once they end up in the system. The problem is that they have to hit bottom before we intervene. It cost much more to manage a diabetic after they have had lost limbs, kidney failure or other complications than if they had been offered help early.

There is no solution for the abusers of any system but to police the system for that abuse but that should not keep us from helping those that are truly in need. It is time to stop making excuses and fix the system.

I am pragmatic and believe that it is not only the right thing to do from a moral stand point but the economically wise thing to do to save capital and spend our tax dollars in the wisest way.

I hope that if our neighbor’s home is on fire we will offer help while the fire is small and not wait until it is fully engulfed in flames. Helping ones fellow citizen and human being is not weak or socialist it is the right thing to do.

Michael Chapman, RN