I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and then I voted against Donald Trump.

On the first day of Chicago neighborhood early voting I cast my ballot against Donald Trump.

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.

21 thoughts on “I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and then I voted against Donald Trump.

  1. Good luck, Fred. Thinking of you, and sending healing light. Get well, and then back to work—bring down the fascists, fight the power.

  2. Glad to hear that you got this cancer before it had spread. We are among the fortunate who have healthcare.

    I had neurofibromatosis type 2 when I returned from Malaysia to the U.S. back in July 2007. Fortunately, I was able to get health insurance from the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois. I was treated at Stanford by cyberknife in Feb. 2008. Without TRS insurance, and paying out of my pocket, the cost would have been $70,000. 
    How many people no longer have insurance through their workplaces and how many never had any insurance? Trump keeps trying to take ACA away but has no alternative healthcare plan. 
    I would have been affected tragically but I was able to get the care I needed. How many cannot? Other countries have successfully implemented insurance for everyone in their population but the U.S. never seems to be able to do anything. MEDICARE FOR ALL!!

    Trump in Pennsylvania: US ‘crushing the virus’
    Oct 20, 2020
    Associated Press

    Speaking to a crowd of thousands in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, President Donald Trump declared that the United States was “crushing” the coronavirus. (Oct. 20)

  3. My Dad had a kidney removed around age 80. In the next ten years, his prostate and gall bladder were removed. He was upbeat, ‘There just less to go wrong’, he laughed. He made it to 92. Here ‘s to good luck, good genes and good doctors moving forward.

  4. So sorry to hear about your medical issues, Fred. Take it easy and let the light from all the good you have done shine light on you.

  5. I hope you have recovered enough, after the election, to lead us all in a rousing rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”. Be well

  6. Thinking of you as you beat this.
    I love the way you used your own experience and made a point about healthcare. Very well written article.

  7. Wishing you the best of good health! Thanks for sharing your excellent knowledge on pensions, and for exposing the corrupt politicians who seem to frequently enjoy rocking the boat. Stay happy, and stay positive.

  8. Fred, so sad to hear this, but I know you so long, I know you are a fighter and you, with Anne by your side can handle this new bump in the rode. A beautifully written article, tying in the need for better healthcare for all.

  9. I have always enjoyed your emails.  Thanks for all the information that you share.  I fell and broke my hip in August so still in recovery.  My husband and I requested mail-in ballot.  Already deposited in secure mailing box for ballots. Sincere wishes for a successful surgery and recovery!  Prayers for you and your family.

    Sincerely, Janet E Valuch, retired teacher                Homewood-Flossmoor High School 1994.

    Teaching is the only profession that makes other professions possible.  Quote from Fareed Zakaria

  10. Wishing you the best in this, your latest, fight! I think you’re a match for all the storms that come your way. You have thousands rooting for you!

  11. God said, “Mister President Sir, may I speak to you, Sir?…would you help me make Heaven great again?…Please…Sir.

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