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Enza Sebastiani

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Would you seriously let an uninsured child die?

I am still appalled by the response of Ron Paul's supporters at the last GOP debate. I can't shake it off. I just wish the more common situation would have been brought up: more than 8 million uninsured children live in the US.
- Uninsured children are 10 times more likely than insured children to have unmet medical needs, such as untreated asthma, diabetes or obesity, and are 5 times as likely as an insured child to go more than 2 years without seeing a doctor.
- Regular health screenings help doctors identify and treat problems preventively and are crucial to a child's healthy development.
- An estimated two-thirds of children and youth with mental health needs are not getting the help they need. In fact, unmet need is as high today as it was 20 years ago.
- Uninsured children are more than 4 times as likely as an insured child to have an unmet dental health need. In 2000, children missed more than 51 million hours of school because of dental-related illness.
- Uninsured children are more likely than insured children to perform poorly in school; in contrast, enrolling children in health coverage has been associated with greatly improved school performance.
- Uninsurance disproportionately affects minority children.
- While 1 in 14 White children is uninsured, the statistic jumps to nearly 1 in 9 for Black children and 1 in 5 for Latino children.
More here: http://www.childrensdefense.org/policy-priorities/childrens-health/uninsured-children/

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    Sep 15 2011: I think some Republicans are just more averse at the idea of Obama's healthcare reform than a young person dying uninsured. It's a sad muck up priorities. Honestly, if the US can get anything out of European countries and Canada is that universal healthcare is both desirable and better than private healthcare.

    On an unrelated note: Is that Neil De Grasse Tyson? I envy you!
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      Sep 15 2011: Thank you Matthieu for you feedback... I totally agree with what you wrote... Particularly because I was born and raised in Italy. Despite the decadent political system, one of the few things I do miss is social health care... not the entire package, of course, as there's bad and good in everything, but the fact that if a child is about to choke herself on a piece of carrot, for example, she/he can be assisted in any ERs without forcing her/his parents to write a check for thousands of dollars. True story. It happened to a 10-year old girl, the daughter of a friend of mine, during a visit in Rome. She was assisted, and after getting better, she was dismissed at no charge.
      Yes, that is indeed Dr. De Grasse Tyson ;-) I was lucky enough to bump into him at the American Museum of Natural History in New York... He was leaving his office to go to yet another interview, I believe with Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report.
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    Sep 15 2011: Please read the book "Deadly spin" written by a PR executive who led the fight against new Healthcare legislation for an HMO called CIGNA and on teams representing all the major HMOs. It was only after seeing the real results of the policies he drove through with propaganda on the people in the communities he grew up in that he woke up morally. He saw that Doctors without Borders are needed in the United States of America as much as in any third world country and that they were serving in his home town because none of the citizens could get care.

    The book details how the HMOs actively sewed propaganda and misinformation to defeat and derail Healthcare reform for decades. It details how many people are effectively uninsured, how the companies deny treatment to eligible people to increase their bottom line and how they lie, cheat and steal profit.

    He talks about the reality of healthcare in the USA from a view inside the crooked campaigns and how they used fear and influence with politicians and reporters to protect profit and kill people.

    Children are dying in the richest nation on earth and the rest of the world just shakes their collective heads to know that a population can be this effectively propagandized to their own detriment.. The icing on the cake is that so many Americans are proud of the way it is being done.
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      Sep 15 2011: Yes, children are dying because they cannot afford health care, unless they are born in a congressman or a senator's family household, or even better, in the top 400 richest corporate-owners family. No doubt the system needs a reform. What would your solution be Debra?
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        Sep 15 2011: 1) I would actively work to expose the propaganda and ensure that no American could ignore the fact that the 'Emperor has NO CLOTHES!' the emperor in this case is a collection of HMOs , politicians and journalists.

        2) I would call your media and journalists to account for failing in their duty to their country as the 4th Estate by simply publishing that propaganda from the HMO executives that just wined and dined them without any investigation or vetting of the facts.

        3) I would challenge the supression of valid research. A major evaluation of healthcare systems around the world was published in the Harvard Business Review (I think) not long before Michael Moore's movie on healthcare came out so the Insurance industry suppressed it and they propagandized against Moore's movie so heavily that it was virtually "unAmerican' to see it.

        4) I would work with all my might to challenge the religious right on their stance against healthcare. It was the religious leaders who fought for and stayed with the implementation of healthcare in Canada in the 1930s. They made it a moral issue of duty from one human being to another that resonates even with atheists and cuts across religious differences. Almost all faiths know that children deserve survival. I would quote scripture at them until they plugged their ears in pain and shame" Better that you be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than one little child be lead astray(or allowed to die because of profit mongering)" That is obviously not exactly it.
        I would ask them if they knew the story of the Good Samaritan?

        5) I would keep at it on the basis of the proven research on cost effectiveness of national healthcare programs compared to the cost that America pays now. The others are less expensive.

        7) I would shove every lie into every liar's face until they cried uncle because it would be a far easier thing to hear the corporations moan about loss of profit than to bear the death cries of those kids
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        Sep 16 2011: One more addition:

        8) I would counteract the propaganda that in systems like Canada people have to wait for procedures.

        YES, we wait in line for procedures because EVERYBODY who needs a knee is in the line in Canada unlike the USA where the lines are short because very few people can afford a new knee or have the coverage to get one. In Canada, if you are poor you get the knee you need and there are people who are richer than you are in line behind you. It is based on urgency of need and on a proper queue. Rich or poor you get a knee and that makes for a longer line. (Anyone who wishes to jump the line is welcome to travel to the US and pay for it!)

        No matter who you are you do not die or go without healthcare when you are in need and you are not bankrupt when it is all over.