SCARED AND THINKING
As a healthcare worker, the Coronavirus Crisis has got me scared and thinking.
I am scared for my very dear friend. She made daily rounds in a NYC hospital, a city where one person was dying every 10 minutes from the virus at its peak. I don’t want to lose one of a very few friends who understands me!
My fellow nurses are dying from it without adequate protection. More than 2000 and counting. My wife and/or myself could be next!
My own residents in the nursing homes are suffering from lack of connection with family due to quarantine.
A husband asked me what we could do to keep his demented wife of almost 60 years from forgetting him in his absence! I feel helpless to help them!
Millions are being sacked and lack any emergency funds. Their health coverage is gone with the job. Then I think, this shouldn’t be happening in the richest country on earth.
In the last 36 years, I have seen care of human beings replaced by care of the bottom line.
The industrial strategy of cutting to the bone to maximize profit has resulted in closures of hospitals, bare bone staffing levels and not enough ventilators and antiviral vaccinations.
Our country spends twice as much on health care than others, with inferior outcomes.
Insurance governs health care decisions, not health care providers like me.
I’ve seen my patients’ therapies and treatments cut short, forcing them to spend the rest of their lives in a nursing home, watching their hard-earned dollars of a lifetime depleted in months. This breaks my heart. It is undignified.
In the Poor People’s Campaign, we believe the business of healthcare should be about meeting people’s needs, not those of greedy investors and CEOs.
CEOs now make a grotesque 320% more than the average US worker.
This growing inequality is a direct outcome of the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. They fight hard to maintain a system that profits from our misery and indignity.
We demand dignity and care for all people. Everyone in, nobody out!
We demand Medicaid for All! This is our right!
Let us come together, as a multiracial movement of working people, to lead this fight to finally place the life of people and the planet above profit.
Please join our movement for equality and dignity.
(Bruce Grau, GNP, is a Palliative Care provider in Wausau, Wisconsin. This article is from his speech at the March for Medicaid in Madison in October. This is reprinted with the author’s permission.)