Having just spent several hours organizing documentation to take to a tax preparer I took a break to look at the Courier Journal.
This article resonated with me, “Support swells for universal health care”
“Earlier this month, the Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee voted to urge Congress to pass a bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, that would expand Medicare to cover all Americans.
The bill would create a "single-payer" health-care system, publicly financed and privately delivered. All Americans would have access regardless of employment, income or health. Each year, the program would set reimbursement rates for health-care providers and negotiate the cost of prescription drugs.
Critics say such a measure would be too costly and unwieldy, but the passion of supporters was evident when the Kentucky House committee vote was called, and Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, answered: "Hell, yes!"
Now you may wonder what universal health care has to do with Ralph Long’s income taxes. Here is the deal.
This is the first time in my 54 years that I have had to take an active part in filing my income taxes. My wife Suzanne was a CPA and a tax professional and took care of all of our taxes. The only thing I ever did was say “Keep me out of jail honey” and “Where do I sign?”
With Suzanne’s death in June, after battling cancer, I am now left with doing my taxes and part of those taxes are the medical expenses resulting from her illness.
For just the six months she lived in 2005 her medical bills exceeded $200,000.00. Fortunately she had good health insurance that dealt with most of the cost.
But what of all the families without insurance, I know that if she had not had the insurance I would be facing bankruptcy and the prospect of loosing most of what she and I had worked for during 30 years.
The stress of illness and death of a loved one is bad enough, but it is just plain wrong that someone would face financial ruin trying to care for a family member.
People have a right to health care.
So add my voice to Kathy Stein’s, hell yes we need universal health care in this country.