Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why I believe in Health Care for all

9-26-09 heartbreaking brain
Part of my job for the state cancer registry is reading the medical records of cancer patients. I am not an insurance expert, but daily I have a bird’s eye view of what goes on in people’s lives when they are diagnosed with cancer.

Here is an example of a case I saw this week:
52 year old female seen in Emergency Room with ulcerated lesion in right axilla (arm pit), this was present for 6 to 7 weeks. Patient with no family doctor or no insurance. Last saw doctor in 1986 after birth of baby). Mother died from breast CA.

Pt had biopsy of this ulcerated area in arm pit and found to have metastatic cancer. Scan showed mass in right breast with extension into chest wall and involved axillary lymph nodes. The spread into the lymph nodes were causing skin ulceration and abscess in arm pit. Oncologist recommended chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The next month a report stated that chemotherapy had not been started yet due to insurance coverage. Patient worked in past but has been laid off work.

I have heard some people say “we” have the best health care in the world. It does little good for some who aren’t allowed access to this health care.

I have no further reports on this patient in the last 9 months, thus I have no idea what her status is today.

We are all one step away of being without health insurance. Lose your job and lose your insurance.

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