A few days after hearing from my doctor that I had a lump in my left kidney that was probably cancerous, Anne and I drove to our local voting location on the first day of Chicago neighborhood early voting and safely put our ballots in the drop box.
If the polls are right and the Democrats don’t screw it up – and that is no sure thing – I will no longer have my left kidney AND Trump will be defeated, both by the beginning of November.
My doctor expects me to have a full recovery within a couple of weeks after surgery. I will be back on my feet well before inauguration day.
I’m afraid the country will take longer to recover from Trump.
As far as my kidney goes, I am extremely lucky. My cancer has not spread and I have another kidney to pick up the load. Illinois retired teachers have good health insurance. It is a benefit I believe is part of the pension benefit that the Illinois Supreme Court ruled was constitutionally protected.
A nephrectomy, the removal of a kidney without complications, costs around $40,000.
It will cost me no more than $1100 out of pocket.
Many working Americans are not as lucky as I am.
I worry about those without health insurance and the millions more who have depended on employer-based health insurance and are now without it.
Millions of people across the United States have become uninsured after losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn.
Trump is not responsible for my kidney cancer. He is responsible for the bungling response to the pandemic, the fear many have about seeing a doctor or treating an illness at a hospital or even access to health care.
In July, during the first COVID peak, researchers found that 21.9 million workers in the U.S. lost their jobs, and an estimated 5.4 million subsequently became uninsured. They noted that this number does not include workers’ family members who may have also lost health insurance.
According to the researchers, the increase in the number of uninsured adults in this 3-month period was 39% greater than any previously recorded annual increase, including the 2008 to 2009 increase, when the number of uninsured adults jumped by 3.9 million in the U.S.
Now, with winter coming on, we are heading into another COVID peak and more people will lose jobs and access to health care.
No COVID-19-related federal legislation signed into law has included attempts to restore or preserve comprehensive health insurance.
And Trump’s attempt to dismantle even the minimal relief of ACA and his corruption of the CDC and other federal health programs have made things so much worse.
“Based on several careful studies carried out over the past 20 years, we know that for 769 people who are uninsured, 1 person will die each year,” says David U. Himmelstein, professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College. So, 5.4 million newly uninsured translates to about 7,000 extra deaths this year.”
Himmelstein says “Medicare for All is the only reform that can really address the health care crisis. Lesser measures will cost more and deliver less.”
We can start organizing for that after November.
I’ll be ready.