Making a better world! Serving Kansas City's under-served for more than twenty-five years!
Artist- Geri Centonze
want to tell you about a patient I will call Toni. Toni was in my office, worried about a lump in her breast. I examined her
and knew immediately the lump which felt like a bit of concrete was likely a breast cancer. But, Toni who was 52 years old
did not have insurance. For Toni, there was no possibility of surgery, no possibility of radiation or chemotherapy. As a Family
Doctor working in a clinic for the poor, I was not able to help her. Even a mammogram to provide “proof” she was
facing a cancer diagnosis cost too much for her.
Her only hope was to rely on the kindness of and charity from doctors and hospitals.
After more than three months of calling many doctors and hospitals to beg for her care, I finally found a team willing to
provide these services “just this once.” Toni finally got her surgery and then lost her maid job at a local hotel.
Destitute, she was allowed State Medicaid coverage temporarily to cover the hospital’s losses for her surgery. She got
six months of chemotherapy and when she felt better, Toni went back to work. Immediately she lost her Medicaid and thus her
follow-up medication that was meant to prevent metastases. Although she stretched the medicine by taking it less often than
prescribed, she finally ran out. Later she returned to the clinic with a lump in the other breast.
This is one story leading me to
believe the US needs universal health care. I think the best option for providing this is to expand "Medicare
“No one is born hating another person because of the color
of his skin or his background or his religion … People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can
be taught to love … For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” Nelson Mandela
How the 800,000 "Dreamers" differ from other undocumented
immigrants: 1) They grew up speaking English and as part of the US community. 2) Most are in school or have jobs- they are
part of our economy. 3) They have already passed background checks. 4) They have no where to go "back" to as many
are not fluent in the language of their parents. We need to protect these people from the hateful effects of anti-immigrant
policies. This has nothing to do with closing the border, protecting the US from "bad hombres" or other anti-immigrant
policies. They are different. On the spectrum of undocumented immigrants, this group should be an easy pass.- SLeeMD