By Ken Previti. Ken is a retired Illinois teacher living with his wife Mary Lou Previti in Florida. He is a long-time education activist and pension warrior.
I have successfully gotten through triple bypass surgery. More than successfully, if that is possible.
After having an unsuccessful heart catheterization on March 15 (Beware the Ides of March.) to place stents in my heart, the triple bypass surgery was postponed until March 22 due to staffing and surgery room availability. On March 22, it was again postponed (due to a computer shutdown at the hospital for three days) to March 29 when bypass was finally performed.. The 5 to 7 day average hospital stay turned into 8 days for me because I was still producing too much fluid drainage. I was sent home on Thursday at 8:00 PM. Holmes Hospital Heart Center is understaffed, overworked and (for most) underpaid. These people have my everlasting love.
I came through it all in incredible health and strength. Fortunately, my lungs are naturally very large, and I have never smoked. My peasant stock and DNA favored me. I was walking with no aid (walker or cane) since March 31, and have no need for assistance with walking, bathing or breathing. My pain level is quite easy to handle – with painkiller medications and the plethora of medications I will temporarily be taking. Since I had no heart attacks or strokes prior to or during this, my heart is considered to be very healthy.
As I heal, I get very weak and tire easily. Big deal.
Basically, I lucked out.
I have Medicare and a secondary insurance. I had decent surgeons, doctors, nurses and other staff. I have decent 21st Century medications and insurance. Decent.
Decency is a basic measurement of civilization. Be decent to others as you would have them decent to you. Everyone deserves healthcare – not merely emergency room temporary stuff. No one needs to earn it. The decent civilized nations of the world know and practice that. Yes, those nations need not be made great again. They have outdone us in everything except rah-rah propaganda.
How can we afford healthcare for all? If one man, Jeff Bezos, actually paid taxes, America could easily afford healthcare for all. One man. 320,000,000 Americans versus Jeff Bezos.
If all of our oligarchs paid the same fair tax rate that they paid under President Ronald Reagan, healthcare for all, actual decent Social Security, a workable infrastructure and much more would be affordable, and the oligarchs would still be fabulously wealthy.
Who made our politicians little gods who determine who is deserving and who is not deserving? “The best healthcare you can afford” and “access to healthcare” are class warfare code for unfair healthcare. The wealthy deserve more than those who actually improve our society – when this is examined. God made the super wealthy deserving and the rest of us as undeserving; He has blessed them therefore damning us. This is pure propaganda while waving flags and other illusions of freedom that take the place of a decent society.
Yes, I feel guilty to be receiving the healthcare I have. Yes, I deserve healthcare. Yes, a baby girl with a hole in her heart deserves healthcare. Yes, a screwball twenty-something who runs his motorcycle off the road deserves healthcare. The underemployed and underpaid employees at Walmart deserve healthcare. The unemployed engineer who is approaching destitution deserves healthcare. Veterans and non-veterans deserve healthcare. People of all races and combinations deserve healthcare. Pregnant and non-pregnant women deserve healthcare. Christians and non-Christians deserve healthcare. Even the legally thieving lawmakers who are doing the bidding of the oligarchs deserve healthcare. Yes, even those I personally feel do not deserve it, deserve healthcare.
We all deserve healthcare.
I have benefitted from my healthcare, and am grateful beyond words.
You also deserve healthcare.
We must demand healthcare and more if we wish to regain what used to be our democratic republic.