This is the final installment of a three-part piece looking back at a sad tale of friendship, loss, and concern. The story started with the unlikely bonding of two women from different worlds who shared a common challenge, breast cancer. Cancer took one, while the other lived to see her grandchildren grow up and begin their adult lives.
If you have not read the previous posts, you may want to do so before continuing. Click on the links at the bottom of this post to see them. Whatever you decide about reading the previous posts, let me explain why this saga was chronicled here.
For some time, I have watched the continued attack on what many consider the most successful democracy in the history of the world. Yes, it has flaws, as nothing is perfect, at least nothing on this earth. Yet, it has survived longer and been more successful than any previous attempt at some form of democracy.
Still, some feel other systems would be more equitable and fairer. Despite the horror these options have created throughout modern history, people still think they could work if done properly. Of course, in most cases, these advocates never lived under the systems they worship for any length of time.
One of the most viral attacks today is directed at the healthcare industry in the United States. Even people within health care, people I know and respect, have allowed personal situations to cloud their thinking. They sometimes tout universal health care and single-payer options as ways to “improve” conditions in the U.S.
Again, as far as I can tell, most of these individuals have never personally experienced such a system or spent time in a country where such a system exists. Yet, they are hell-bent on establishing such a system based on hearsay, propaganda, and social media. That is why I shared this story. A story I know to be true because I was part of it.
Rosy and June lived their lives under two different systems of health care. Technically, I suppose that is three other systems if you consider that June resided in Mexico and used whatever health care was available there unless it was something serious. Her breast cancer diagnosis was serious, and she went home to England for treatment through the Universal Health Service.
However you or I approach the healthcare aspects of this saga, one thing is clear. June’s system did not save her. Rosy’s did. June’s treatment in England was limited to surgery and radiation, which was not enough.
Rosy’s insurance was, and is, through an employee benefit plan. It was the kind of policy the folks I mentioned above often feel is ruining healthcare in the United States. Critics feel such programs limit the treatment available to anyone other than the richest and most important people. I can assure you Rosy does not fall into those categories.
I’ll close this piece here. For some readers, this will be enough. Perhaps it is enough because they see some validity in my comments, or they may be done because they feel I am spreading right-wing, capitalist propaganda. They will argue this is anecdotal information, not valid scientific or medical data.
They will claim we don’t have all the details about the cases. Perhaps there were underlying conditions that made June’s cancer more difficult to treat or kept her body from recovering as easily as Rosy’s. They may be right, but most medical data is anecdotal. It is often gussied up and prettied up to make it look scientific when some so-called expert wants to frighten people into submission.
Yes, as I wrote during the early days of the pandemic, the term medical science is an oxymoron. If you’re interested in my reasoning, check out Oxymoronically Speaking.