My name is Chris Izzo, and I am a Frederick resident. I have become an ardent supporter of Medicare for All — specifically legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Pramila Jayapal from Washington and Debbie Dingell from Michigan. On May 30, I spoke at Our Revolution’s health care rally outside Gaithersburg High School while Rep. David Trone was inside.

My journey to outspoken advocate for universal single-payer health care began in 2000 after a heart attack. A “lucky” one, I have had good coverage throughout my life. By accident, I received the actual bill for one day’s care. It was $25,000. This experience brought to my attention the ease in which a medical incident can bankrupt a family.

Four years later, my father suffered a severe stroke. He lost the use of his right arm and was restricted to a wheelchair. To make his house accessible to him, my mom and I needed to pay to construct two ramps. In addition, we added railings to the first-level shower.

Due to my mom’s age, we had to retain the services of two aides to help my father in and out of bed and his wheelchair during waking hours. Again, my family must be considered “lucky.” Unlike many others, we were not bankrupted by the over $400,000 in out-of-pocket expenses related to my father’s stroke before he died five years later.

Nevertheless, in addition to the obvious emotional pain and suffering, dad’s stroke proved to be a significant economic hardship. His entire 401(k) was depleted. My mother has also had to tap into other investments.

Now my wife and I are retired. We live on pensions and Social Security, but are also depleting our 401(k)s. We previously purchased long-term care insurance. But a recent increase in monthly premiums meant that we would have to pay more than we do each month in mortgage payments. We cannot afford this expense without risking our entire nest egg. We rejected the rate hike, which means that the amount available to us for care is capped. Obviously, we are now terrified that one of us may require long-term care that exceeds the cap.

The Jayapal/Dingell bill would protect my family from the serious economic risks, up to and including potential ruin, that our for-profit health care system continues to impose on us and hundreds of millions of other Americans. This legislation will generate better health outcomes at a lower per capita cost. Nobody will be denied care and nobody will go bankrupt as a result of a health care emergency. It is time for David Trone to stand up for his constituents and co-sponsor Medicare for All.

Chris Izzo

Frederick

(16) comments

dabittle

The three most expensive elements of healthcare are, in no particular order: 1.) Obesity, with it's manifold tentacles of diabetes, joint issues, depression, absenteeism, heart decease, etc. This is HUGE! Behavioral changes in diet, nutrition and exercise would go a LONG way towards reducing this elephant in the room. 2.) Price-tag disconnectedness. Unlike everything else consumers spend money on, consumers DO NOT have ANY idea what they're paying for their own healthcare. They don't know what ANY of their doctor's appointments or medical procedures are costing them. When asked, providers cannot answer the question because there are too many variables. Perhaps we should should demand to know, and then shop around! Doing so could mean you and your insurance company would pay less. 3, and this is BIG.) End of life care. We all love Grandma (...or mom, dad, sister, brother, etc). As such, we want our loved ones to have EVERY possible opportunity to continue to live. However, because too often Grandma, or whomever, does not have a living will on file, we pour all manner of resources into their last few days, weeks or months of life, and for what? To prolong the inevitable (see letter above)? This, while they're laying in hospital bed connected to various wires, tubes and contraptions that are all designed to prolong life but LOWER, not heighten, their respective qualities of life! This could easily be avoided with an advanced directives or living wills instructing loved ones to spare the patient unnecessary pain and suffering--and much cost! So, all-and-all, there are many things we can do individually, and as a society, to reduce our healthcare dollars that do not involve providing M4A. The government has demonstrated time and again (read: $400 hammer) that they are NOT the most efficient mechanism for delivering ANYTHING! Let alone, our collective healthcare.

TwoDawgs56

M4A doesn’t go far enough. We’re the world’s richest country rolling in the dough so why not offer “free” healthcare to Illegal immigrants.

DickD

Medicare for all is too expensive and it does not compensate for the loss of company paid health insurance. And it will cost an astronomical amount of taxes to provide. There is also the question of how much insurance should pay. If someone will die in three months with expensive medication or die sooner, should the medication be paid and at what cost. The higher the cost, the less money for others who could be helped to live much longer. I know no one wants to hear that, but there will be limitations and higher taxes. A better alternative is an insurance everyone can buy into, not provided by private insurance companies.

yogib

Constiuents

yogib

Chris, You speak for many of us. How could any government for the people and by the people not approve medicare for all. As a Democrat I saw Trone as another Delaney, but the Frederick County Central Committee and many others were bought off. Trone is more concerned about his personal wine shops than his conctutents

secpol1970

Maybe because its too expensive and some are just trying to pay for themselves. Don't speak for all of us.

FCPS-Principal

We really aren't that far from M4A now. All the county, state and federal government workers. All the Medicare recipients. All the Obamacare users. All the Medicaid users. All these people use a government-backed health insurance system. M4A is just a small step.

secpol1970

It will bankrupt this country.

VoteForGeorge

M4A (enhanced) is NOT socialism. Providers do not work for the government. Private insurers take our premiums, deductions and copays and place them in one pocket, after taking 20-25% off the top for executive pay, dividends, profits, etc. Even some of the remainder goes to middlemen (especially for drugs), leaving even less for PRIVATE providers of healthcare. M4A will deliver at least 97% of the money it collects from us to providers. It will give us the superior coverage found in most other western countries at about half the present cost!

FCPS-Principal

Of course going full socialism, i.e., making all the providers government employees on the GS pay scale would reduce costs drastically even further. And Republicans would get their long sought goal of near-zero liability.

niceund

I'm sorry for your problems and I can relate. However, Medicare for all is not the answer. Socialism will only degrade this country. There's not a mentioned in your article about why doctors, insurance companies, big Pharma, and other healthcare related businesses overcharged drastically for their services. That's what the government needs to investigate.

FCPS-Principal

It needs to investigate and send all the fraudsters to jail for 20 years. That that needs to happen anyway. But that won't save a single family from going bankrupt and losing all their retirement savings to a single heart attack or stroke.

DickD

But you get benefits from the VA, don't you? Don't you consider that a form of Socialism? Living off the rest of the country after 20 years of military is Socialism in my mind.

secpol1970

And? Its a deal set by this country for the sacrifices our vets have made for this country. That said look how well its been run since the VA was established. Our vest are literally dying before being seen and you want the government to get more involved in healthcare?

gary4books

Investigate what? We all know that a hundred dollar aspirin in the emergency room was because so few paid at all and they had to average it out to stay in business.

Dwasserba

You have pensions? Wow

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.