Guest opinion: I received world-class health care when I needed it most. Others in America aren’t so lucky. |

Guest opinion: I received world-class health care when I needed it most. Others in America aren’t so lucky.

Michael Andrews
Park City

If you are as fortunate as I am, and I hope you will be, to have lived to the mid-point of your ninth decade (85!) it is likely that at some point you will come in contact with Utah’s marvelous medical facilities, its multi-ethnic health care providers and diverse and awesome support staff. You will be in good hands!

For the past nine months at the facilities of the University of Utah Hospital and medical clinics I have been in the care of a brilliant, perceptive and intuitive general practitioner who saw my issue; the cardio “plumbers” who unblocked my “pipes” — arteries — and relined them to assure blood flow to my heart; and the cardio “chief electrician” and his colleagues who ”installed” a pacemaker in my chest and restored my erratic heart to its normal rhythm and functioning.

I was treated and cared for by women and men of immigrant European, Chinese, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, African, Mexican ethnic backgrounds, third- and fourth-generation “Americans” from Vermont, Texas, Maryland, California and Iowa.

My care and drugs were higher than the MSRP of several Mercedes vehicles! I had no idea what the cost to me would be. I will pay a small amount. I am one of the lucky Americans!

Why? Because I have Medicare, a Social Security pension, a guaranteed state pension from my 40-year education career and “gold plated” health care and drug insurance that reduce a $525-a-month drug to $30!

Why do I share this with you? I (and others like me) believe that what we have should be available to everyone. It’s a matter of life or death! It’s what a fair and just society strives to achieve — “the blessings of life, liberty and happiness” for all its members.

Now, some will accuse us of freeloading off taxpayers; others will shout “welfare state socialism,” others will assert “we can’t afford it, taxes are too high,” others will say “marxist communist sympathizers.” We have heard all these assertions and we reject them simply because they are false!

We live in the richest society in the history of mankind which enables wealth to be concentrated in the hands of a few — that nebulous 1%, and a health care system run for profit by medical, drug and insurance companies!

So, why are many Senate and House Republicans telling us that billionaires and corporations can’t afford more taxes, that for-profit drug, health and insurance companies whose CEOs make obscene salaries determine health care costs?

Is that their idea of a fair and just society? It appears to be.

And they have the same kind of health benefits as I do or more — hypocrites.

The care is magnificent! The system is broken!

Medicare for all as a part of a national health system public option, not based on your employment or pre-conditions. Medicare/Medicaid prescription drugs out to public bid. Free public education at least through grade 14. Affordable child care for working mothers. An adequate minimum wage for all work.

Doable? Affordable?

Yes, if we choose as a society to make this our reality, it can and will happen.

The past nine months have taught me again that education matters, ethnic/racial background is irrelevant to achievement, we are blessed in Utah with marvelously diverse and brilliant doctors, nurses and health care staff — if you are able to access and afford them. My thanks to each and every one of them who cared for me. I hope you don’t have to meet them.

It’s time for everyone to have access!

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