Health Care For All

by digby

This article on CNN's website tells us how to get the kind of health care the Kennedy's have:

The first step to getting health care like a Kennedy is to go online and learn as much as you can about your disease, says Dave deBronkart, co-chairman of the Society for Participatory Medicine.

"It used to be that in order to get medical information, you had to be a member of what people call 'the priesthood,'" he says. "It was a very private and closed group that got its information through medical schools and medical societies. Now all that's changed because of the Internet."

Step two, he says, is to communicate electronically with people who have your disease. That's what deBronkart did in 2007 when he was found to have kidney cancer that had spread to his brain, tongue, arms, and legs. "Initially, doctors told me the median survival time was 24 weeks," he says.

Like Kennedy, deBronkart couldn't accept such a dismal prognosis. "I joined the Association of Cancer Online Resources, and within 15 minutes of posting a question about where the best doctors were, I had an answer," deBronkart says.

He says the third step is to contact experts in the field, as Kennedy and Parles did when they were stricken with cancer.

"Kennedy was a good role model in that he aggressively pursued finding out all the options that were available," deBronkart says. "You could say he scoured the earth."

You'll notice a couple of things missing, I'm sure.

Step 3: Have government health care that pays for nearly everything

Step 4: Be a multi-millionaire

Other than that, though, the article is quite correct. You can shop around for medical advice on the internet these days, which is great. In fact, Dr Google is my primary care doctor. The problem isn't understanding your disease, it's getting treatment you can afford.

Edward Kennedy wanted all Americans to have access to the kind of health care he had and to make sure everyone had a safety net in place that allowed them to take the kind of risks necessary to become a millionaire if that's what they wanted to do. His conservative enemies, on the other hand, want to keep Americans enslaved by the wealthy, in jobs they loathe, scared to make any moves for fear that they will lose everything, including their lives, if they do. It's the essence of the difference between liberals and conservatives regardless of their personal place in the class structure.