Sunday, November 7, 2010
This caused a flash back for me. About five years ago, I had to go help my mother file for bankruptcy. My mom was raised during the depression and lived on ration stamps during WW II. She hardly ever spent a dime on herself. She raised four children and managed to put two through college. But, my step father died after a lengthy hospital stay. He left her very little money and one huge hospital bill. For over twenty years my mom tried to make payments. But, eventually she was living in an assisted living home, on social security, and it became impossible to continue payments.
When we went in front of the judge, her lawyer (I paid his bill) had already told her the questions the judge would ask. Basically all she had to do was say yes twice and no once. I was holding her hand when the judge started asking the questions. I noticed immediately she started to squeeze my hand harder. I could see her lip start to tremble. But mom was a proud woman and she was not about to break down and cry in front of the judge or total strangers. The whole ordeal was over in less than 10 minutes. As soon as we left the court room she broke down in tears. She was glad I was there to give her support, but she felt she was a failure. She wasn't. My mother passed away a few years later, and thanks to a government run health program, Medicare, she didn't leave a huge debt to her children
No one should have to declare bankruptcy in order to get health care. Not my mom, not anyone.