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Galindez writes: "Representative John Conyers and Senator Bernie Sanders have introduced the most important legislation I have ever seen. It may not pass in my lifetime, but it will save lives when it does."

Bernie Sanders and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (photo: Matt McClain/WP)
Bernie Sanders and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (photo: Matt McClain/WP)

The Most Important Legislation of My Lifetime

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

24 September 17


epresentative John Conyers and Senator Bernie Sanders have introduced the most important legislation I have ever seen. It may not pass in my lifetime, but it will save lives when it does.

Single payer healthcare is what I am talking about. I am not afraid to call it what is. I don’t care what you call it. It is morally and economically right. Yes, I said economically right. Only the insurance industry would disagree with that. What do insurance companies provide us anyway? An overpriced payee is what they are and all they are. They don’t care about our health; they are designed for their own profit.

It is personal for me – I am dying from kidney failure. My insurance company would rather pay for dialysis three times a week than cover a transplant. I could go to Iowa City a few hours away from my house and get on the transplant list, but I don’t drive. I also could have gone on Medicare early and gotten the transplant in Des Moines at the hospital near me. I didn’t choose Medicare during the last enrollment period. The insurance company I had in 2016 covered a transplant at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. I had no idea my new insurer wouldn’t cover an operation in Des Moines.

My previous insurer, Coventry, sent me a letter in 2016 telling me that Aetna was taking over for them. So when I enrolled for 2017, I chose the Aetna Mercy healthcare plan. Everything looked the same to me. It turned out to be a huge mistake. They started out claiming my dialysis was out of network. It was not. For the last year, I have had to fight to get them to pay my bills. It only took me a few weeks to hit my deductible, but somehow they keep claiming I’m under the deductible on a regular basis until I complain.

The last thing people who are sick need is to have to be stressed out with medical bills. All over the world, governments take care of the cost of healthcare. It is far from free – the money is raised in taxes just like funding for fire departments, the police, the military, and public education. Medicare for All, as Bernie and Rep. Conyers are calling it, would result in a tax raise. The simple fact, though, is that most people’s tax hike would be more than offset by no longer having high premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

Private insurance has failed me all of my life. If I had grown up in a single-payer country, when I became diabetic it would have been treated, and I would not have damaged my kidneys while having untreated diabetes.

I have lived through various healthcare situations. Growing up, my healthcare was good. My father worked for the Air Force as a civil service employee, so I had coverage. I also spent some time in the Army, but not long enough for veteran’s benefits. I had an HMO in California while working for Truthout, and I have been on the exchange. I have witnessed the good and the bad. A simple thing like portability could have saved my life.

I moved from California to Virginia to set up a DC bureau for Truthout. I was not allowed to stay on the HMO I had in California, so I went years without healthcare in Virginia and Washington DC. Truthout and RSN were both willing to help me pay for healthcare. Insurance companies, however, used to reject me for what they considered a pre-existing condition: being short and fat. They called it “body type.” They would have been happy to sell me a policy, but not the ones that I found affordable.

My last diagnosis before leaving California was borderline diabetes. If I had been able to keep my healthcare and be treated after I crossed the state line, I would not be dying today. I always say Obamacare saved my life. It did. I finally got insurance and began treating my diabetes. It was too late though; the damage to the kidneys was done, and the continued flaws in the private industry are preventing me from getting what I need – a new kidney.

I believe that one day we will have single-payer healthcare and nobody will ever have to go without healthcare again as I did. Pass Medicare for All Now!!!

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.

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+26 # bread and butter 2017-09-24 12:01
Alternet did a really good article regarding reasons why the Democratic Party "centrists" are still trying to sabotage Sanders and TRUE health care reform (Single Payer):

It pretty much cuts through all the bullshit and shows what's really going on and why.
+8 # ER444 2017-09-24 13:25
Dear Scott, I have been a faithful fan of your wonderful journalism for years. I have been living in Germany for 25 years and know first hand how wonderful it is not to have to worry about the "price" of going to a doctor. The system here is constantly being tweeked to make it better. It is not perfect, but no one is waiting here for a kidney because it is not part of their "plan". By the way, there is, contrary to commom belief, a parallel private and flourishing Health Insurance Industry. People who earn more than 45000 Euros a month can opt for this system. The rest of us are in the single payer system financed by our monthy payments based on income. If you earn more you pay more. It is all based on the principle of "solidarity" which as I understand it is the fundamental basis of insurance in the first place. The young people must be in the system which creates a bigger pot which makes the whole thing more affordable. A most important thing to point out, as obvious as it is forgotten in the USA, is that some day these young people will get old and need the solidarity of the next generation of healthy young people. It all comes out in the wash. I hope with all my heart that the USA finally comes to its senses and develops a fair and affordable system for everyone. Obama Care is a first step and like here will need constant tweeking. What the Republicans are proposing is inhuman. Scott, here I send you my best wishes and pray that you get the help you need. Godspeed.
-10 # nmoliver 2017-09-24 17:51
Scott, I am so sorry about what has happened to you. You do not have to suffer from diabetes any more. A couple of tablespoons of high-quality, virgin coconut oil per day will bring your blood sugar down to normal. Please try it. You do not need insulin. I was worried about myself, too, but yesterday's glucose was 73.
+5 # Carol R 2017-09-24 18:00
It is a very sad statement that too many politicians don't care about the health of constituents. Why are we now waiting to see if the most recent GOP healthcare debacle will be passed? It will hurt millions. Those with pre-existing conditions will find their premiums raised to high to be practical. Women will not receive coverage for birthing or birth control. Planned Parenthood will be no longer funded so indigent people will no longer get decent health care. Medicaid will be phased out.

What is wrong with this country that we have politicians who want this disaster for millions? Private companies waste millions on paperwork, share holders and CEO's. Money/profit is their goal, not the health of people.

Medicare for All!!
+7 # Jude 2017-09-24 18:30
Dear Scott, I hope that one way or another you will get your new kidney soon and be well. All power to Bernie and single-payer healthcare!
+3 # margpark 2017-09-24 19:54
I have medicare and tricare but tricare is from my husbands military service. For me that is wonderful. And I wish the same care for all of our people in the United States of America.
+4 # Street Level 2017-09-24 20:40
Scott, I am truly sorry. I don't know what to say...
+11 # Thomas Martin 2017-09-24 20:55
Thanks "bread & butter" for the reference - it says "there are attempts within the Democratic Party to dismiss Sanders the man, his ideas and his followers" ... also, "Sanders will still be out there pushing Medicare for All. His fervent supporters like the nurses will be there with him" - I myself will continue to support him and his vision too!!!
+10 # ericlane 2017-09-24 21:54
Scott, I'm an insurance agent and have been marketing health insurance for 30 years. I agree 100% with you. We need Medicare for all and to keep the insurance companies happy, have them market supplements and Medicare Advantage plans as they do now. The best health care in this country is when you turn 65. For many people, it's the first time they have ever had real healthcare. I send you nothing but good energy. You might do some quick research of PH balance and see how acidic your body is.
+3 # librarian1984 2017-09-24 23:01
'May not pass in your lifetime' If Trump is too stupid to pass it soon we'll get it in 2020 at the latest, and somebody should be held accountable for anyone who dies between now and its passage. Individuals, families, communities are suffering while these schmucks play games.

The Democrats had their chance. The Republicans had theirs. Now it's time to pass Conyers' and Sanders' bills. There is no other option and no Democrat is going to win without guaranteeing it -- and they'd better have it ready to roll out as soon as they take office.

Nobody thought we could take down the tobacco companies but we did. Now it's time to dismantle the insurance companies, Big Pharma, fossil fuel and arms manufacturers.

Not one more person should suffer or die if it can be prevented. Shame on Congress. Shame on the president. Shame on all of them.
+5 # California Neal 2017-09-24 23:07
Scott, I'm terribly sorry to hear your situation. I'm also a long-term supporter of single-payer. I have late-stage prostate cancer that was not diagnosed on a timely basis. I have good healthcare as a retired state employee who came in before they started downgrading coverage for new employees. As I network with other men with advanced prostate cancer, I see many who lack that quality of coverage that I have. It's an embarrassment to live in the richest county, which spends the most on healthcare, but is inferior because the money doesn't go for patient care.
+6 # davehaze 2017-09-25 02:36
The majority have always wanted Single Payer health care. The problem is that the corporate media and the Democratic and Republican parties are loath to let us have it. They will fight to the death to keep it private and profitable. Our death, not theirs.
0 # Depressionborn 2017-09-25 02:57
We must rethink health care. When something is free it becomes expensive and unobtainable.
Scott needs someone to pay for a kidney so he can live at least for a while longer. It is very sad.
We need a kidney replacement factory that is effective and cheap; we need to find out why kidneys fail. The system is broken. Politicians suck.
+4 # PeacefulGarden 2017-09-25 03:31
I am sorry about your health condition. I am of an age where all of the generation before me is in their 80's. So, hospital waiting rooms are the place...

I did figure out Aetna was the worst of all of them about 10 years ago with my son's wisdom teeth. Everything was outside the scope of the plan. Then, when a very respectable Philadelphia Children's hospital said the surgery need to be done yesterday, Aetna delayed and delayed, from which the hospital liaison told me "we are trying to phase Aetna out" from which I phased them out of my children's health.

It is all for profit. Here is our flashy brochure, and by the way, don't call any doctors, but we will send you a monthly bill for stopping you from seeing a doctor in your area.

Honestly, when a congressman talks about health insurance, I want to barf.
+7 # boomerjim 2017-09-25 13:17
Too many heartless ghouls in Congress don't care about our lives and health, only for their ideology and their rich donors.
+6 # Cassandra2012 2017-09-25 13:52
Single Payer is the only plan that makes any real sense. That it eliminates the intermediary for-profit healthcare insurance 'industry' is a real plus that ensures that costs will be less, and that healthcare will be more efficient.
Obviously, those insurance giants do not like plans that run on common sense, decency, ad equitable treatment.
-4 # JanosB 2017-09-25 18:56
I am sorry to hear of your serious medical condition. I urge you to look up "kidney disease" on You'll find reference to Dr. Cathcart and Dr.Thomas Levy author of Vitamin C Curing the Incurable. I hope you find this helpful.
+3 # Wise woman 2017-09-26 18:25
Scott - so sorry to hear your distressing news. I've also lived with chronic health and financial problems for years due to American health care. One thought comes to mind. Why not contact Michael Moore to take you to Cuba where he took all the first responders from 9/11 who our country wouldn't treat. Cuba treated them all for free. This would make a great story for you both and perhaps be able to help you financially as well as the poor folks in Cuba who desperately need it right now. Everyone here who gets really sick or injured because of the health care mess, will suffer financially for years if not the rest of their lives. This is a grave sin on America's conscience.
+3 # Dave_s Not Here 2017-09-30 22:19
Your story reads like a nightmare to me, a Canadian senior living in Canada. It is unimaginable to me that someone would have to ruin his kidneys for lack of affordable medical care for his diabetes. What a nasty place your country must be, where your elected government permits and even encourages this to happen.

It's beyond the pale of reasonability.
+9 # Madalyn Anderson 2017-10-03 10:24
I am sad to report that Scott died on Sept. 26th, just 2 days after he posted this, his final article.

His friends and colleagues will continue to speak out about the failure of a for-profit healthcare system and fight for #MedicareForAll.

We have lost an important voice, a steadfast friend and a good, good man.

This was the tragic fate of an educated man, with a job, who HAD insurance. This could happen to anyone. It's wrong.

If you are so inclined please make your memorial contribution to Reader Supported News.

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