By Mark Zdechlik
Tammy Fox wanted to help after a friend took ill with a rare and difficult-to-diagnosis autoimmune disorder that required many trips to the Mayo Clinic.
While she couldn’t do anything medically, Fox knew there was a way to ease some of the burden of medical bills and costs associated with doctor visits. She turned to the internet website GoFundMe.
“You’ve got meals, you’ve got hotel stays and, like I said, gas so that all needed to be covered,” said Fox, who lives in suburban Minneapolis.
A Commonwealth Fund survey found that nearly half of working-age Americans could not afford an unexpected $1,000 medical bill.
Contributions have come in from strangers, she noted. “It’s crazy cool how awesome people are and what they’re willing to give. People, when they come together, can just move mountains and I think that’s awesome to see.”
GoFundMe, the largest online, crowdsourced fundraising platform, says people have raised more than $5 billion from 50 million donations in the eight years since it began.
1 in 3 campaigns
It’s become a go-to way for people in need to help pay their doctors. Medical fundraisers now account for 1 in 3 of the website’s campaigns, and they bring in more money than any other GoFundMe category, said GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon.
“In the old paradigm you would give $20 to somebody who needed help,” Solomon said. “In the new paradigm, you’ll give $20, you’ll share that and that could turn into 10, 20, 50 or 100 people doing that. So, the $20 could turn in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.”
Stories of tragic illness and financial hardship — all of them with pictures of those suffering — are easy to find in GoFundMe’s medical section. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2016. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
- Trump Administration May Be Preparing A New Obamacare Sabotage Effort That Would Hit Those With Pre-existing Conditions — Another piece of the Affordable Care Act’s machinery is grinding to a halt, at least for the moment, in what could be another effort to undermine the law by the Trump administration. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Saturday that it is temporarily suspending a series of payments to insurers that flow through the ACA’s “risk adjustment” system. … Read the Rest
Bernie Says: Medicare For All Is Now A Mainstream Position
Not long ago, the idea that health care should be a right for every man, woman and child in this country was considered “radical” or “fringe” by members of the corporate media and political establishment.
When I introduced my Medicare for all legislation in 2013, I couldn’t find a single Senator to co-sponsor the bill. We were even relentlessly attacked for the idea before the Iowa Caucuses in 2015.
But today Medicare for all is a mainstream position in the Democratic Party. My bill has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate, and a version of the legislation has the support of a majority of Democrats in the House. Public polls conducted by nonpartisan organizations show a full 75 percent of Democratic voters support Medicare for all.
Make absolutely no mistake about it, our ideas are winning.
And would you like to know why so many of my colleagues now support Medicare for all? It’s because you support Medicare for all, and because you have been willing to take action in unprecedented numbers in support of the legislation.
That is the political revolution.
Now, from time-to-time, my colleagues who have yet to co-sponsor our bill will ask me if there is still the energy out there for Medicare for all that there was during our campaign. Those questions have only increased as President Trump continues his efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.
The next time one of them asks, I want to be able to say our movement is only getting stronger. And if I can do that, and if they believe it, it won’t be long before our list of co-sponsors grows.
All of us get sick.
All of us need medicine.
All of us have accidents.
All of us need good quality health care.
And in my view, the function of a rational health care system in this country should be to provide quality care for everyone in a cost-effective way, not to make health industry CEOs richer or drive up stock prices on Wall Street.
Unfortunately, even as support for Medicare for all grows, we are still taking on much of the political and financial establishment in this fight. The insurance companies and drug companies in this country are extraordinarily powerful, and they are not going down without a fight.
If we are serious about providing high-quality and affordable health care, the only real solution is a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system that provides health care to ALL Americans, including the 50 million uninsured and underinsured in this country.
Sisters and Brothers: In this pivotal moment in American history, let us lead our country forward to guarantee health care as a right and not a privilege. This is a struggle whose time has come. This is a struggle not just about health care but about the heart and soul of our country, about what we stand for as a people.
Help me send this message to my colleagues today:
Add Your Name: Tell my colleagues in the United States Senate that you are more committed than ever to passing a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care. Click this link to sign my petition, and I will carry your message with me whenever anyone asks.