Apparently, public opinion still matters to the current presidential administration. Yesterday (August 16), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that a government-run health plan is not an “essential element” of the so-called health care reform bill. This reversal comes in the face of boisterous objections to HR 3200 at town hall meetings nationwide as members of Congress have been confronted with questions and outrage. Click here to read a full article about the reversal on a government-run health plan.
But don’t let the this action lure you into complacency. Your voice still needs to be heard. In case you’re still not sure if government-run health care is a good idea or not, I want to bring your attention to the story of Betty Figg in England where nearly all health care is provided by the National Health Service. Long-term care under the NHS also includes social services and oversight of whether a person is in a nursing home (or care home in British parlance).
In 2008, after injuring herself in falls while in the hospital, Mrs. Figg was admitted into a nursing home due to dementia. Betty’s daughter, Rosalind, noticed that her mother’s care was lacking (click here to see article about Betty’s abduction by the authorities). Rosalind and her partner made renovations to their home in order to adequately care for her mother.
The application to bring Mrs. Figg home was denied in November 2008. In April 2009, Rosalind decided to remove her mother from the nursing home. She brought Mrs. Figg home to care for her. Shortly thereafter, in a scene reminiscent of a raid on a drug den, police arrived to forcibly remove Mrs. Figg from her daughter’s home, and return her to the nursing home.
More details about the event which led up to the police action can be found in a follow-up article by clicking here. Additional stories about how English nursing homes are caring for their patients can be found by clicking here.
The story of Betty Figg has a happy ending as she was allowed in June by social services to go home with her daughter Rosalind after Rosalind met the requirements set forth by social services. Mrs. Figg was welcomed home by family members and she is enjoying life in the comfort of her own home once again. Click here to read how this story ended.
Maybe it’s just me, but…now is not the time to breathe a sigh of relief…now is the time to continue to share the truth about the so-called health care reform with our friends and families. People need to hear the truth about real people like Betty and Rosalind. Do you want the state to decide whether or not you can take care of your own mother? Are you ready for rationing of health care services based on, for example, how many hip replacements have already been performed in a given year? Or based on some arbitrary mathematical formula that determines just how valuable your life supposedly is worth? (I’ll address this in a future blog.)
Get the facts…then get involved.