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Scratching Post Saturday Night – Healthcare Crisis plus a song for mercy

UPDATE:  Sheri tag sent a reminder for all Conflucians to set their timers for Murphy and Friends at 9PM, and as Sheri says: “Pauli and Marilu of Real Democrats are going to let you know how to work for Obama’s defeat without selling your soul to republicans.”  here’s a link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/NO-WE-WONT/2008/09/21/Murphy-Friends-Puma-Tea-Party

Hey Conflucians!  Yes, Market crash, Obama said this, Sarah Palin that, Sandra Bernhardt, THAT.  But Healthcare is a crisis in this country that we need help NOW.  Read this:

PLANT CITY, Fla. – Charles Todd Lee spent a lifetime going backstage at concerts, following politicians on the campaign trail and capturing iconic shots of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mick Jagger to Mickey Mantle. Today, he enjoys such freedom only in his dreams.

The 67-year-old photographer has been confined to a nursing home for five years, the victim of a stroke that paralyzed his left side. And he’s angry.

“Most of the people come here to die, so you want to die,” he said. “It is a prison. I can’t escape it.”

Lee is among the Medicaid recipients across Florida challenging the nightmare of the old and disabled: to be forced from comfort and familiarity into a nursing home.

They say the state is illegally forcing them to live in nursing homes when they should be able to live where they choose. Advocates charge that nursing homes, afraid of losing money, have successfully pressured politicians to make qualifying for community care more difficult. They have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of nearly 8,500 institutionalized Floridians.

Whether the litigation gets Lee and others moved out of nursing homes remains to be seen. But at the very least, it has illuminated the frustration experienced by older people or those with disabilities who say they’re shuttled into nursing homes when they are healthy enough to live at home, with relatives, or in other less institutional settings.

“There are very, very, very few people who cannot be cared for outside in the community,” said Stephen Gold, a Philadelphia disability lawyer who, along with AARP attorneys and others, is representing the group. “Why should the state give a damn whether you put the money in the left pocket of the nursing home or the right pocket of the community?”

Why can’t Charles go home and recieve care from a home attendant as per the new Medicare/Medicaid laws dictate?  Had Universal Healthcare been in place, we wouldn’t be seeing cases like Charles.  The state is just hoping people like him die fast.  And if you think this is just a “red state” thing, I have an 82 year old aunt in serious condition after a knee replacement operation in NYC.  She had her knee replacement done and all fine.  Because she has Medicaid/Medicare, she was shipped to a nursing home for 2 month recouperation and therapy, despite her children offering to care for her at their homes.  Now, she’s in critical in St. Luke’s Roosevelt  [Update 2: She’s now at NYU Joint Disease Center, part of NYU Medical Center on E. 17th St. Manhattan, older cousin will find out more, but she is more stable, reacting well to antibiotics as of 9:30pm] infection at the nursing home, even though she did not ask to be sent there.  Please send some good thoughts over to her.    This is an immigrant from the 1950s that worked all her life until the age of 65 working in the garment district in Manhattan.  Like Charles, she’s getting shafted because it’s cheaper for people to die than to have them get back all those Social Security and FICA taxes they paid for most of their adult life in the United States.  Why is this happening in the United States of America?  Hillary, WE NEED YOU!  This should not be happening to the people that are the back bone to this country, the WORKING CLASS HEROES.

Here’s a song for Charles and Tia (aunt in Spanish) – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy performed by Tampa native Cannonball Adderley, written by longtime keyboardist, Joe Zawinul.  I ask mercy for Charles Todd Lee and for all those facing healthcare crisis around the nation.  This should NOT be happening in the 21st century.  Mercy for all the ailing people in this once great nation. 

This is an open thread.  Order a drink from Rico, Flo is working he karate chops on Gollums wanting to “get in our faces” – this should NOT be happening in the US.  We need Universal Healthcare and a standard set for all people and all insurance companies.  Rich folks shouldn’t be the only ones getting good healthcare.