Vail Daily letter: A case for universal care |

Vail Daily letter: A case for universal care

Kris Sampson
Vail, CO, Colorado

To Ms. Hemmerich, I have an adage for you also: “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

Why is it that so many on the right, most of whom call themselves Christian, forget that adage as they fight tooth and nail against universal health-care coverage?

I find it so ironic that virtually every time I see news coverage of a tea party rally, it appears that most of the people there are likely benefiting greatly from a “government entitlement” program, be it Medicare, Social Security or both. But as long as they are taken care of, to heck with everyone else.

I am a 45-year-old, self-employed breast cancer survivor. I did not ask for this to happen to me, and have in fact taken very good care of myself over the years. I did everything I was supposed to do, yet I still got sick.

Since I was diagnosed in 2007, my insurance premiums have increased by 102 percent. That’s right, they have more than doubled in the past three years, and my husband who rarely files a claim pays even more than I do.

We currently pay $16,000 a year for health insurance. If our premiums continue to increase at this rate, in two years we will pay $25,000 a year.

Many people probably think I deserve this because I cost the system so much money, but that has never been the way insurance is supposed to operate — it is a pooling of risk, not a loan. However, there is absolutely nothing I can do about paying these exorbitant amounts except for pray each year that the my insurance provider does not drop me completely.

There are people in our society who simply need our help. Period. Providing health-care coverage to all is the moral thing to do. Every other industrialized country in the world does so.

And frankly, there are some decisions that should not be left up to the popular vote.

Had the Civil Rights Act been left up to the American people, it would not have passed. In today’s culture of “me, me, me and did I mention me,” where the majority of people do have health coverage even though tens of millions do not, do you really think that most people are going to favor sacrificing even a little bit so that others can be taken care of? From the looks of the rallies and town hall spectacles last summer, I am not so sure.

It always feels different when it affects you or someone you love.

Does anyone really believe that Dick Cheney would support gay marriage if not for his lesbian daughter, or that Nancy Reagan would support stem-cell research if not for witnessing the effect that Alzheimer’s had on her beloved husband? I highly doubt it.

They do so because they understand the suffering of someone they love.

“There but for the grace of God, go I.” Think about it.

Kris Sampson


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