Healthcare Failure

Sep 26, 2018

To the Editor:

The Aug. 18 issue of the Southern Ocean Times carried the lead story headline “Manahawkin Family Raises Over $50,000 For Son With Leukemia” and a picture of a husband and wife with two adorable children. My heart raced in gratitude and awe at how generous people are in times of need and how blessed this family was to have a chance at a happy life.

My joy was soon followed by questions: “Why did this beautiful family, that innocent child, need to raise $50,000 from strangers in order to have the hope of survival? Wasn’t he a resident of the richest and most powerful country in the world? Why was the burden of his care ever even a question? Shouldn’t he have been receiving the best we could to save his life without question?”

I’m sure some might already think that I am using this family tragedy to advance a leftist liberal socialized medicine polemic. I might suggest to you that if this thought crossed your mind, does that mean a rightist conservative capitalist wants children to suffer and die due to lack of funds. Of course, that is nonsense! No one wants to see children suffer and die.

The answer seems quite straightforward. We need to construct a healthcare system where every American has access regardless of means. It’s immaterial what you call it and almost less material how we get there. We might start by acknowledging that we need to get there now and not 50 years of political wrangling in the future. Then we need to put our fabulous resources to work to get there.

As the generosity of those who gave to this beautiful family evidences, we, as people, are better than what we are receiving from our healthcare system. Institutions lag behind individuals in responses to need. It’s about time for them to catch up so we don’t continue our slide into one of the worst industrialized nations for healthcare delivery. Every moment wasted is a child who needs treatment now, not after a protracted fundraising effort. Let us be as good as we really are, cut the political BS, and get moving.

Larry Picarello

Brant Beach



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