LESLIE CRISS: I’ll remember Mama during upcoming Congressional elections

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“There are a lot of fancy words around this town. Some of them are carved in stone. Some of ’em have put ’em up there so suckers like me can read ’em. Then when you find out what men actually do – Well, I’m gettin’ out of this town so fast and away from all the words and the monuments and the whole rotten show.”
– Jefferson Smith,
“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

“A hospital should also have a recovery room adjoining the cashier’s office.”
– Francis O’Walsh

“Financial ruin from medical bills is almost exclusively an American disease.”
– Roul Turley

Today I find myself wishing that all Congressional seats were held by ordinary, workaday citizens with no ties to special interest groups, no hidden personal agendas, and a keen distaste for politics.
Sort of like Jimmy Stewart’s character Jefferson Smith in the wonderful movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
I have great faith if that were the case, men and women in Congress would be working together amiably to do something about this nation’s health care, which is badly broken.
They would work together to get something done because the issue of health care would also have great effect on them and on their families.
But I am a starry-eyed idealist and Congress is filled with a large number of millionaires with great insurance and a gold-plated pension. So those of us who struggle to pay medical bills or disregard our health because we can’t afford it are left with no place to turn.
I suppose we who struggle must shoulder some of the blame – it is, after all, our votes that sent these folks to Washington. But we can also make wiser choices come re-election time.

Few exceptions
We can remember promises made were not kept. We can remember the childish fighting and feuding and finagling that kept these elected men and women – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and any others – from honestly addressing the issues that most affect we the people.
I’m certain there are exceptions, but I’d bet my MRI bill they are few.
Two Tuesdays ago, the third day of my Mama’s nearly two-week stay in the hospital, I asked my 79-year-old retired father a question that had been needling me.
“How are you going to pay for all this?”
He assured me Medicare should pay for most and that at any point Medicare would not pay, someone in the hospital’s financial offices was supposed to alert him.
I started wondering how many people get that alert – that insurance (if they have it) or Medicare will no longer pay – and they have to take a loved one home regardless of the consequences.
There’s something wrong with that.
So horribly wrong.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal.com.