Bernie Sanders shows why we need Medicare For All, seen in a single instance

There are statistics and there is life, which occurs to individuals. What is the impact of huge numbers on popular understanding? Does anyone comprehend what a billion dollars is? Well, it's 1000 million.

But who can grasp what 1000 million is when most people will never know what it feels like to have 1 million dollars? The scope is huge.

Another example, how do we understand the universe without understanding the galaxy? How does one comprehend a galaxy without understanding the solar system?

What does it mean when 500,000 Americans go bankrupt trying to protect their own health every year? Just a number, just a static topmost people.

But bring something, anything, down to the individual level and we enable human understanding...and empathy.

Today, I watched a moving video in which Bernie Sanders, through his intervention actually helped save a man's life.

Please watch this video, after which a few comments follow.

The first lesson is Bernie CARES about people, not voters, not donors, not political party (though that last point is debatable). Outside of Tulsi and perhaps Yang, can you tell which of the current politicians cares that deeply about individuals. How about any of our so-called Representatives, almost all of whom are only about re-election and funding (from which they all skim for personal use)?

The second issue, far greater but dependent upon empathy and understanding, is providing for the health of our citizens. If one has a soul, then one by definition possess empathy. How can empathic people tolerate the dismal and declining health of our citizens' health care?

Numbers are abstract. The larger the number, the more abstract. Here in this video we see the plight of one man, a man with an incurable progressive disease but who served his country in the Navy. A man now abandoned by the VA (for cancelling his Tricare policy) and abandoned by the majority of both duopolistic political parties.

Does not this man deserve better care in his time of need? That is a rhetorical question. If any one does not regard the question as rhetorical, then that one needs a check up from the neck up.

Can any point better illustrate the desperate need of truly humane healthcare as embodied by Medicare for All? True, this story is anecdotal. One individual, one time, one case.

Medical scientists (many of whom lack empathy) will tell us that anecdotal evidence is not conclusive. A longer discourse disproving that heartless contention to be not only illusory but abusive. This is not my purpose here. What would double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of all Huntington's patients reveal? Nothing. Absolutely nothing to those individuals with Huntington's or ANY health challenging disorder.

No stronger argument favoring Medicare for All can be made in my opinion. Problems with M4A implementation certainly exist but the principle is not only sound; it is a moral imperative.

This essay asks many questions and provides few answers. The Socratic method is the best method of education. Test yourself here. Do you arrive at a different conclusion?

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mhagle's picture

Bernie cares.

I watched another video where Michael Moore talks about why young people trust Bernie. It's because he is doing it for them. He is not going to serve and then go around giving million-dollar speeches or serve on boards of whatever for profit. This is his last hurrah and it is all for the kids.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

WaterLily's picture

@mhagle I miss her.

Of course, I haven't been around much thanks to IRL insanity, so maybe I've just missed the opportunity to cross paths.

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mhagle's picture

@WaterLily

Although I don't have much time to participate these days either.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mimi's picture

@mhagle
to give out her email address, which eyo sent me once in a pm, but asked me to never give it out to anybody and use it. From that pm I could deduct that she reads or at least was reading here. It was at the time OPOL died.

I would forward the email address to JtC and he could decide about it.

Was eyo a Veteran? I wished to help her and tried to send her money through paypal. It didn't work and was declined from her side. So, I don't know what this all means.

I hope she 'makes' it through whatever has been served to her by some higher powers. I hope she is surviving and I wish her strength and peace of mind.

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WaterLily's picture

@mimi Except for her sardonicism, of which I've always been in awe.

I wouldn't want to invade her privacy, so will just drop a note of well wishes here.

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@WaterLily
She is OK. Privacy matters.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

mhagle's picture

@QMS

Much love to you eyo!!!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Over everything else. The question is do we want M4A as bad as they wanted Brexit? If we do, then Bernie should have no problem in the primary or the general.

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so beautifully and so well. I try to understand the point of view of people opposed to socialized medicine, and I guess their point may be that competition in a free market allows consumers to choose the most effective and affordable plans. But my experience tells me that's not what we have at all. And I feel that health care is not something we go shopping for and comparing qualities and prices for. Instead it's a necessity. Reality is what tells me socialized medicine is the common sense plan.

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@Linda Wood
that health care costs, like other marketed baubles, could be a savings coupon that can be clipped out out of the local flyer, the argument for socialized heath care is moot. Hell, CVS and Walmart are now in the business of prescription plans and quickie diagnosis'. One stop shopping. You can bet your bippy Amazon has it's sight on your medical records. Free market control of our health. It's a money maker.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

Alligator Ed's picture

@QMS There are laws which prohibit the corporate practice of medicine. So, ever since Tricky Dick made it legal for Kaiser et. al. to profit from medicine they have become, in a way, de facto arbiters of health care; denying some claims while approving others. But that is a negative. Making diagnoses is a positive act (in the sense that it is an active medical decision made in the absence of medical judgement).

So please support your assertion. Giving flu shots is not making a diagnosis. What then is?

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CS in AZ's picture

@Alligator Ed

https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/clinic-visit

There’s a list of what they can and can’t treat, but they do dx some conditions and prescribe meds accordingly. They also do a lot of referrals to urgent care/emergency care, and to primary care physicians for follow up visits. It’s limited, and yet they function as first contact medical care for a great many people, and often help people avoid more expensive medical care to deal with routine infectious, minor injuries, etc. I have mixed feelings about it, but these types of clinics do get people who are sick in the door. They assess and treat or refer within restrictive rules.

I honestly don’t have a strong opinion for or against this. In the current healthcare reality in this country, it’s all some people have. Now I’m wondering if there’s any data or studies on the outcomes of these types of easy access clinics. Hum... I’ll save that for tomorrow.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@CS in AZ Thank you for providing the link

Our family nurse practitioners and physician assistants** provide services for both adults and children 18 months and over. And we can send a summary of your visit to your primary care provider with your permission. If you don't have a PCP, we can provide a list of local physicians accepting new patients.

As a Fully TRAINED medical doctor, I view this service as an absolute outrage. Don't conflate my abhorrence of this for "protecting my turf". I understand the desperation with which people with insufficient financial means have in dealing with health issues. Finding a source by which to obtain treatment is an major obstacle when money is the block to doing so.

I am not expressing schadenfreude here but I wonder how long this scam will be allowed once the major malpractice suits pile up. And please don't tell me about "informed consent" and all that rubbish. I have testified in several court houses about the nature of informed consent and my opinions have convinced juries. No, I am neither that smart nor that persuasive, but I can clearly explain to a lay jury what it means to be FULLY informed about risk, relative risk, and benefits PLUS the other part, often overlooked: the risks of not following proffered advice.

Maybe this will provide material for another essay--if I can contain my disdain well enough to write an objective analysis.

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OzoneTom's picture

@Alligator Ed
Here is a story about a "Walmart Health" clinic. Apparently these locations include primary care: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/29/walmart-is-piloting-health-clinic-at-wal...

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed

Maybe this will provide material for another essay--if I can contain my disdain well enough to write an objective analysis.

...leads you to write a truly honest and with it objective analysis. I appreciate your essays very much.

From other comments, you made:

Sucking up to Clinton is a deal breaker for me. It was then. It is now. M4A will not become a reality until we stop the endless wars benefitting only the MIC. They squander our national wealth killing, maiming other people without a second thought. The only one able to do so is Tulsi.

I guess Tulsi is pretty close to those medical-type folks and has imo more understanding for "symptoms" that need to be taken care of by "FULLY TRAINED" medical doctors, because she worked as a medic in a war zone and has seen the damage done to combat war veterans, physically and psychologically.

So, if Bernie should get nomination, I would vote for him only, if he makes Tulsi at least VP.

I have seen comments here not that long ago, who expressed suspicions that Tulsi tries to take advantage of her military service as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard.

Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009.

So, I think that these suspicions are a bit unfair. She has seen 'stuff' up-close and directly. That makes all the difference.

Yeah, and tell Bernie, we have no patience and want him not to suck up to the wrong people. Jeez. What's the fuck up with that suck. (redacted because of vulgar language).

A lot of hot air in here... wasn't there a soundtrack for 'waiting to exhale'?

Exhaling now. Wink

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Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi There is no equal to the temper of a pissed off alligator.

Let me at them!

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@Alligator Ed You can go see a Nurse Practitioner at Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, CVS, just to name a few. Many people go to them. Nurse Practitioners are big here. Many have their own clinics.

I had a pharmacist give me a flue shot at Walgreens this year. My wife has had shingle shots by the pharmacist at Kroger.

I suppose if they have a license it is not practicing without a license. Slow erosion of the MD/patient relationship and MD level medical practice.

Whether these practitioners give a patient informed consent, that is another question entirely.

But do MDs really give you informed consent when they could? I would say my experience is that they seldom have time for that. Most patients in doctors' offices are given a consent form to sign, often by someone who is not even a nurse.

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travelerxxx's picture

@davidgmillsatty

I had a pharmacist give me a flu shot at Walgreens this year. My wife has had shingle shots by the pharmacist at Kroger.

A little over a week ago, my primary care doctor sent me to my CVS to get the new shingles vaccine. I guess if they're okay with it, I am also. Not so sure how much further I'd want it to go, but I've had tremendous care from Nurse Practitioners. I first saw one about 25 years ago. I've probably seen two in this past year.

For most routine problems, they're good to go. I always worry about that odd little thing they might miss. That happened to me, too. I had my butt saved twice by a highly trained and/or schooled MDs, so I damn sure will not discount them.

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mimi's picture

if I remember it correctly someone explained to me that the Veterans are enrolled under Tricare only when they are active duty service members under a contract. Otherwise Veterans, who served at least 20 years, can retire and are considered retired Veterans. Veterans, who had finished their terms of contract (often four or six years) and were discharged honorably, are not automatically covered under Tricare. I think a retired Veteran, who has served less than twenty years, must be at least 60 years old to get benefits.

I think I still haven't understood, if this is or was the case or not and the rules have changed or not. I know that my son, who is a Veteran can walk into any VA hospital and be treated without getting any other benerfits than the medical treatment needed at that moment. The doctors at the VA hospitals have to diagnose the illness as being serious or severe enough to be treated. I don't think the bills for that treatment are paid under Tricare. And I don't know if those bills are subsidized or paid by another health care provider or still by Tricare. He was physically not sick enough to need a VA hospital treatment so far, luckily.

From Veterans Benefits for Dummies

It can sometimes be difficult to know who qualifies for veterans benefits. ID cards are issued for other military benefits, including shopping, travel and Tricare. Here is a list of basic qualifications:

  1. Military members on active duty.
  2. Members of the active (drilling) National Guard or Reserves.
  3. Retired active-duty members. Active-duty members can retire after performing at least 20 years of active-duty service.
  4. Retired National Guard and Reserve members who are receiving retired pay.
  5. Veterans who have received the Medal of Honor.
  6. Honorably discharged veterans who have been rated as 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) due to a service-related injury.

The above definitions get murky, when a honorably discharged combat veteran, who served just for four or six years, but for some time in a war zone, and has some distressing symptoms of PTSD. I would describe PTSD as service-related injury of a soldier's soul. It is very unlikely the VA considers these diffuse symptoms, which are rarely understood by the surrounding population, as a 100 percent service-related disability. All in all it can be a humiliating experience for a Veteran, who would need therapeutic treatment for his - as I call it - 'injury of his soul', to apply for it. Many a Veteran can't go through the maze of regulations and feel humiliated by the process.

My son had three soldiers serving with him in Iraq (in 2003), none of them was physically injured or disabled, but they took their lives nevertheless, often many years later, the last case just this year.

You sure need a Medicare for All program in the US. Everything else I consider as cruel. And it is a shame to not have it.

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did the same thing in my town of 800 people. omigod, he was the savior of the poor!
My first vote was for him. We just loved him! My parents campaigned for him!
And then...Afghanistan...
He "sold" his practice to a young attorney, politically connected, and when she became a District Judge, she "agreed" to resign due to judicial conduct complaints.
I filed the complaint.
I am not calling Bernie a Charlie's War guy, I am just saying that he is a Russiagater, and I may vote for him in the primary, but no contributions this time, no signs, no efforts.
He would be better than Trump, but no way he makes it on the general election ballot.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@on the cusp The focus is on M4A, as well as pointing out Bernie's compassion--in this instance.

Personally, I would only reluctantly support Bernie in the primary due to absence of Tulsi winning the nomination (which the DNC has nicely arranged for Tulsi not to do so). Kissing Killary's gluteus maximus and mouthing Russiagate stupidity disqualified him otherwise. In 2016 I donated the maximum allowable (which H. Rodent Clinton pocketed, thank you very much). I went to county caucus to support him. But that was then, this is now. He is my choice now only by default. Yes, he is basically humane and caring but he lacks the spine to fight the various non-governmental factions with which any President must contend, such as the MIC or Big Pharma, etc. Sucking up to Clinton is a deal breaker for me. It was then. It is now. M4A will not become a reality until we stop the endless wars benefitting only the MIC. They squander our national wealth killing, maiming other people without a second thought. The only one able to do so is Tulsi. We must wait until 2024 before she has a realistic chance of gaining enough national support, and even this might be sooner than such can be achieved.

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@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed and when he stumped for Her, I swore off ever making a camping contribution to anyone, any where , any race, any time.
Down ballot is the same.
I think it is all a damn fraud..
If I were rich, I might be more concerned.

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"..Like that young woman who credits Bernie with saving her life, when she wasn’t paying attention to the fact that she was walking out into traffic and he got her back onto the curb before she was hit. He obliged her with a selfie, and hurried back to his office. He never said a word to anyone there about what had just happened, until staffers noticed the woman’s viral video of her selfie with Bernie and her story."

https://youtu.be/xfKcR0nFy9U

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Alligator Ed's picture

@aliasalias Imagine if Kamala was on the curb when the woman tried crossing the street. Kamala most likely would have calculated whether favorable press would result, so the woman most likely gets hit by the car.

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