A Broken System
Welcome to "A Broken System," a collection of first-hand accounts and testimonials that vividly illustrate the glaring shortcomings of our current healthcare system in the United States. These narratives are not just statistics or theoretical discussions; they are real stories of real people who grapple with the healthcare system's deficiencies every day. They highlight the urgency and necessity of implementing a national health program, a solution for which Physicians for a National Health Program passionately advocates.
In the following testimonials, you'll encounter stories of life and death, of desperate struggles and heartbreaking realities, and the immense human cost of an inaccessible, unequal healthcare system. Each account underscores the harsh truth — the U.S. healthcare system is broken and in desperate need of reform. As you read on, we hope these testimonials will move you, as they have moved us, to push for change and lend your voice to the cause for a more equitable and just healthcare system for all Americans.
Beware what you sign
The nursing home industry has quietly developed what consumer attorneys and patient advocates say is a pernicious strategy of pursuing family and friends of patients despite federal law that was enacted to protect them from debt collection. RK was sued for more than $70,000 by a nursing home where her mother had been a resident. LB was sued for her brother’s nursing home stay, despite not have any control over his money. Clauses in intake registration documents assign payment responsibility to the signing party – which may or may not be the patient.
GM needed a knee replacement, but he had heard how much the surgery might cost and had no clue what his out-of-pocket would be. He wanted certainty. He found a West Virginia surgeon who successfully did the job for a flat fee of $4,000 without involving GM's insurance company. Other doctors are finding ways to provide services their patients can afford by circumventing middlemen.
Half a Meatball
Half a meatball caught in my already fragile esophagus. My body tried to cough it up without success until I had to go to my local hospitals ER. I was admitted. During the procedure to remove the ball, my esophagus was perforated and in another procedure a stent was installed. I was in the hospital helpless for two weeks all the while dreding how much it would cost. MS
Will Medicaid Be Enough?
LL's eighteen year old son was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. The family in this rural state struggled to find psychiatric care, medication to stabilize his hallucinations and violence, and get insurance approvals. The boy will need medication and care the rest of his life. He cannot keep a job. What will this young man do when he is deleted from LL's insurance at 26?
My 45 year old wife had a massive stoke and was hospitalized for the time my insurance allowed. Still unable to talk, feed herself, or walk, she was transferred to inpatient rehab. She was discharged to go home, no better, when insurance ran out. Her husband used savings to pay for home health. How long would his wife need that? What he found wasn't experienced enough. He needed reliable care so I can work. He put her in rehab, but rehab units bounced her between different home every few weeks. He filed for Medicaid and Disability for her but, after waiting seven months, with help from friends and family, he paid $5000 for a lawyer to help.
A man stood at the pharmacy counter to buy insulin. He did not have insurance, and didn’t have enough cash or a credit card to pay for the drug. The pharmacist turned and his young family away. Without insulin, a diabetic lapses into unconsciousness. If lucky, the unfortunate person is transported to an ER for revival; if not death is less than five days away . Did that young man die?