Birdie Sanders Day

My husband nearly died of a massive coronary on my birthday 3/3/17. He was admitted to our local hospital’s Cardiac Unit 3/2 for chest pain, was on a nitroglycerin drip over night.

     The next day at 6am, he experienced excruciating chest pain, the classic text book symptom described as “Feels like an elephant just sat on my chest.”
     Now we going through cardiac rehab together and visiting the cardiologist. We love this doctor. He is a vegan and we have already begun a plant based life style changing diet. Apparently most of his patients are terrified of giving up meat, more terrified of that than dying of a heart attack.
     Tom’s Cardiac Rehab is covered 100% by Medicare. We want everyone to have Medicare. Now that Trump’s health bill collapsed, (Matt Bruenig describes this well),  Medicare for all Universal Health care is the only replacement worth implementing.
     We can’t accept no for an answer. The Corporate Dems want to preserve and improve Obamacare. This is not possible because the Health Insurance Lobby is more concerned with their stock holdings than they are with We The People’s health.
    We must fight for health care for all people. Pennsylvania did an economic impact study showing billions of dollars will be saved by implementing Single Payer.
     California is introducing a Single Payer bill called SB 562, and if and when it passes, we will all have this state by state. It is only a matter of time.
     Bernie Sanders announced on Birdie Sanders day, the day a year ago when a little birdie landed on Bernie’s podium during a huge rally in Portland Oregon, that he will be introducing a Medicare For All Bill to congress in a matter of days.
     Let us not “Resist” mindlessly. Let us pick an issue close to our heart and “Persist.” Let’s face it, giving up meat is the best thing we can do for the heart of our planet. That action alone would reverse the Climate Crisis. But that is a topic for another day.

The Politics and Spirituality Of Health Care Delivery

We have a Single Payer bill in Pennsylvania. We did an economic impact study proving billions would be saved and everyone would be covered. We all want it. The time is NOW!

Americans used to exist exist in a Zombie state because they thought the ACA (Obamacare) and the employer based healthcare system was acceptable or inevitable. Then the insurance premiums skyrocketed and Americans thought Trump could deliver a solution. 

Just because it’s what we’ve always had doesn’t mean we have to continue with an insanity where we keep chipping away at a broken system, thinking that suddenly it will work after 60 years of failure.

Bernie Sanders woke America up to the possibility of a Single Payer Universal Medicare For All system. There were others before him but Bernie pulled this issue front and center.

Polls show the majority of Americans now want Medicare For All, especially now that the Republican healthcare bill presented the truth of a country virtually without any healthcare at all.

My husband used to receive his health insurance policy through my employer. I remember receiving a ten page letter with confusing instructions saying that if I did not provide proper documentation proving that my husband 1) is my husband 2) that he does not receive health insurance from his place of work 3) he will be dropped from our policy at a designated time.

Wading through the language of this letter was time consuming and frustrating. This experience led me to conclude that these jobs where we go and punch a time clock every day are nothing more than indentured servitude, a form of job-lock where you are stuck in a job with no hope of breaking free for fear of losing health insurance, whose coverage was getting less and less adequate every day.

Now my husband and I  both have Medicare and I want everyone else to have that, too.

Wendell Potter, author of Nation On The Take and Deadly Spin, and former heath insurance executive, was radicalized by his epiphany at seeing the health insurance companies for what they are: cold blooded murderers. He too was in a zombie state, answering to stock holders everyday instead of facing spot on the suffering of families who everyday lose their loved ones when health insurance companies deny their claims.

Now Wendell Potter is one of us.

We are the only industrialized nation who does not have a civilized healthcare system. Even South Africa implemented a Single Payer healthcare system, after the collapse of Apartheid. 

The employer based healthcare system is America’s very own brand of Apartheid. We are held down and brutalized everyday here in America by the health insurance companies. 

The corporate mentality, shop until you drop, watch TV until you’re comatose, plus pharmaceutical drug and alcohol abuse has dropped a curtain over the American psyche.

The following is a list of non-violent acts of Civil Disobedience that other movements, such as the American Civil Rights movement, the Gay Rights movement, all the anti-war movements and anti-nuke movements used with great results.

1) Refuse to pay health insurance premiums since they aren’t paying when you get sick, anyway.

2) Start a campaign involving demonstrations every weekday for a year in front of health insurance companies all across America. These demonstrations would showcase caskets and poster pictures of people who died as a result of denied care.

3) Stage sit-ins at insurance companies and outside Capitol Buildings protesting Apartheid of the employer healthcare system in America.

4) Organize boycotts of health insurance and pharmaceutical paid advertising on all the shows that air such ads, and organize teach-ins to educate people to question insurance company tactics of skyrocketing premiums all the while keeping the vision for a Medicare For All system.

Watch Independent Media, instead. More on Independent Media later.

5) Partake in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience training.

6) All acts of violence must be rejected such as physical violence against others, including police and health insurance executives.

7) Practice Nonviolence

Gandhi’s vision on nonviolence is translated as “Truth Force,” meaning both the determination to speak out even when your truth is unpopular, and the willingness to listen to other people’s experience. Gandhi also outlined two other components of nonviolence: the refusal to harm others, and the willingness to suffer for one’s belief.

Practicing “Love They Enemy” is a process of great spiritual power. Adapting an attitude of respect, support and love will prevent verbal violence such as snide and vicious tones of voice, interrupting, shouting down or misrepresenting what people say, which are the antithesis of respectful communication.

Practicing nonviolence includes expanding awareness of the dignity and humanity of self and others, and is the courageous meditation of love and good-will to all living creatures, even health insurance  executives.

Wendell Potter demonstrates that even health insurance executives can have a wake-up call.

Healthcare reform does not mean health insurance reform.

It means Single Payer, pure and simple.