Being that nationally known author and ever-present progressive David Swanson has already picked up on our Melanie-Care for All Act in his article “Single-Payer Healthcare Coming to Missouri“, I’ve decided to include the original statement here. ~ Byron
Melanie Cared For Us All
“If elected, I will sponsor the “Melanie-Care for All Act”, providing a simple plan to get all of our Missourian families the coverage, protection and care we deserve.” ~ Byron DeLear, Mo. State Rep. Candidate 79th District (http://www.ByronDeLear.org)
A dear friend of mine, Melanie Shouse, recently passed away from breast cancer. She found a lump in her breast but couldn’t afford to see a doctor. Through the course of her disease she tirelessly continued to advocate for health-care for all as a moral imperative. I met her through our shared work as concerned citizens and like many of her friends and colleagues was inspired by her unbridled energy and enthusiasm to affect positive change. Even in the midst of great personal suffering, Melanie selflessly put it all on the line and did the best she could to help us all. Her story was propelled to the national stage with President Obama mentioning her in a speech and culminating with “Melanie’s March” from Philadelphia to Washington DC, ending with a rally attended by Senate leader Harry Reid and other members of Congress.
If Melanie had access to affordable health care, her untimely death may have been prevented. Seeing a doctor was simply too expensive just as it is for tens of thousands of Missourians, whose fear of skyrocketing health-care costs are justified. Health insurance premiums in Missouri have risen 82.5% in the last decade, consequently, the vast majority of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical costs, for both the insured and uninsured alike. This creates a specter of fear for families all across our state. Melanie’s death is one of thousands of lives needlessly lost due to our current broken and inhumane health-care insurance system.
According to a recent Harvard Study, 45,000 Americans perish each year due to lack of preventive or primary health care, this equals approximately 800 Missourians like Melanie. 800 Missourians die each year due to our broken health care system. This is a moral crisis, and suggests that we should all take a step back from the raging debate to ask ourselves, in a perfect world, what would our ideal system be? What do we want for the family of Missouri? And then takes steps to make that ideal a reality, or get as close to it as possible.
Many nations have struggled with the health-care debate before us. What’s the best way to adopt complete health care coverage for all? The world is full of examples of different solutions to this question. But the trends over time are very specific, what they show is that as modern societies effort toward equitable progress, universal coverage, regardless of class distinctions, is the desirable end result. This goes to the heart of what insurance is and mathematically what ‘risk pools’ are all about. Pooling risk makes a community, state and nation stronger. It protects us all against personal catastrophe. Currently, in the US, health insurance corporations cherry pick through the populace to determine who’s worthy of coverage, or how to deny care once you become sick. This is at odds with the healing mandate of the medical profession, and has to be turned around.
The right thing to do, is to cover all our citizens with health care. Medicare covers and protects more than 800,000 Missourians — the first bill I will support will be a Medicare-for-All type plan for Missouri. In honor of our local heroine, Melanie Shouse, if elected, I will sponsor the “Melanie-Care for All Act”, providing a simple plan to get all of our Missourian families the coverage, protection and care we deserve.
Sincerely, and in your service,
Mo. State Rep. Candidate 79th District