AN OPEN LETTER TO GLENN BECK
From Memorial Hospital on October 30th @ ~1am
I'm typing this from the waiting room of an ICU where my friend Rodney is hospitalized in critical condition due to complications following surgery to remove his bladder and prostate. My friend is in a fight for his life because he has bladder cancer that was successfully treated a few years ago but came back with a vengeance.
You see, in 2008, Rod lost his job after years of service with his company because his health insurance was more expensive than other employees due to his cancer history and his being over 55. Given his age and health history, my friend proved to be unemployable. Also, while unemployed, he lost access to healthcare. When he became one of the 99ers, he was sufficiently impoverished to get Medicaid and when he finally saw a doctor this summer they noticed a tumor in his bladder. The tumor was removed, but subsequent trouble led the doctors to look further and see that the cancer had spread into the bladder wall. Hence, on October 19th, he underwent a cystectomy to have his bladder, prostate and local lymph-nods removed. A few days ago he learned that cancer was found in the prostate and lymph-nods, i.e., it was metastatic stage-IV bladder cancer that is most likely terminal within a year-or-so even with chemotherapy.
This evening Rod called me to let me know he was going in for emergency surgery because his white blood cell count surged and his blood pressure was dropping. I rushed to the hospital and prayed with him around 5:00pm and then he was taken to the operating room. Several hours later one of the surgeons informed us that he was out of surgery and in critical condition. It turns out that a leakage developed from a rupture of his bowel resectioning and this in turn flooded his system with waste requiring more bowel resectioning, emergency irrigation and, at this time, massive infusions of full-spectrum antibiotics and other medications to counter the systemic infection killing his body.
Rodney’s prognosis is grim. Even if he were to survive the next 24-72 hours, he will then face the possibility of another life-endangering rupture in the new resectioning over the next three months. If my friend manages to survive this, he still has bladder cancer spread throughout his body to fight with chemotherapy over the next 12-18 months before the cancer likely ends his life anyways.
Now the whole insanity of this situation is that it would never have occurred in "socialist" nations like Canada, France, Denmark, Sweden, and the majority of advanced nations, because there you have national healthcare systems such that, even when unemployed and/or less fortunate, you'd have access to care. Thus, a 55+ person with a history of bladder cancer will get regular check-ups to make sure that their cancer is not redeveloping and, if it is, it will be dealt with early before spreading such that massive surgery is necessary and death becomes the likely prognosis. Furthermore, the total cost to society under such a situation is far less given that preventative treatment is pennies on the dollar(s) compared to the healthcare now required in, for instance, Rodney's case, and this with a far worse prognosis.
So, Mr. Beck, I would like to ask you to please stop helping to kill my friend Rodney and others like him who are dying because every time you pontificate from your cable television bully pulpit on the evils of socialism and national healthcare you persuade American voters that it is somehow wrong to have a universal healthcare system, paid for by sharing God's wealth blessed to our nation, that would prevent senseless tragedies like the one unfolding around me. Do you really think people like Rod are getting what they deserve?
Furthermore, given that Rod is a devout Christian, I’d like to ask that in his honor you please refrain from abusing Christ's name in your misleading sermons effectively against the virtues of caring for others. You are touting “independence” from collective responsibility IMHO. Jesus was aware that we are each part of an interdependent whole in which we must make sacrifices to love and care for one another lest society dysfunction and people die. God's "Golden Rule" is not that gold rules (watch the commercials during your program someday). I hope you soon figure out what He really means and where your love and words are due.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. [James 2:14-17]
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' [Matthew 25:31-40]
Ongoing commentary HERE.