Wendy, nicely researched.

Jay, I'm glad that you can afford to pay for all of your healthcare needs out of pocket. I don't know what kind of dent that makes in your monthly budget, but at least you can do it. Too many of those less fortunate than you cannot afford to pay out of pocket. I've read some of the same or similar articles that Wendy quoted here. The numbers of people whose lives are being destroyed because of medical bills they cannot afford, yet had to due to circumstances accrue, is tragic.

Healthcare is a basic human right. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, else matters if you don't have your health.

Like John, I have seen abject poverty close up and personal in my travels. I have seen too thin children wearing clothes that we in the northern-two most countries of North America wouldn't donate to charity because they are so awful. Our poor, in comparison to theirs, are rich, yet they cannot get healthcare in the United States, arguably the richest country on the planet, because they have a job with no coverage, or aren't eligible for medicare. And that doesn't come close to those living on the streets, or in cars, or cardboard boxes with their families because they lost their homes to medical bills. What are those people supposed to do? With no address, can they even apply for Medicare?

It breaks my heart when I hear stories here from people who cannot see the doctor/specialist they want because he/she isn't covered under their HMO, or they have to drive 500 miles to the nearest specialist that is covered. It breaks my heart when I hear that good people like you, Jay, who live with something like AS have to pay out of pocket for the essential medical care required just to keep you going every day. It should not be this way. It is just plain wrong.

Or maybe I'm just a dumb Canuck with too many opinions.

Warm hugs,


A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
"Strictly Ballroom"