The Golden Rule?

By May 7, 2017June 10th, 2017Advocate, Caregiver, Clinician, Consumer, ePatient, Family man, Leader

Pissed off only begins to describe my reaction to the passage of WealthCare, TrumpCare, RyanCare. How about outraged, furious, despondent, bewildered. My frame has always been: Everyone has a right to basic health care. How can we align the forces of this great and diverse country for best health for all? 

How have we so widely elected and supported such mean-spirited, empathy-free politicians? One friend attributes this to the concept of the OTHER – people who are not like us. Does this mean, I wish the best for my people, not other people?  We shouldn’t provide health care for people who are not like us?  I struggle to understand. My people seems to be growing every day. Granted, I’m an extrovert. I love meeting and connecting people. I live to hear their stories and their histories. One of my dear friends moved to a new town where she had a dramatically other appearance. Yet in her job at a pharmacy, she was embraced by her co-workers even though the community has a reputation for being slow to accept others. Another colleague this week told me that her method of bridging worlds was to invite people into her house – her home house and work house. How can we understand each other if we haven’t been to each other’s houses? Others talk of resistance – Marching, confronting, community organizing.

I can’t march. I’m weak and afraid. Wait, I can ride my trike! I definitely write. I open my arms and welcome others. I vote. Do what you can. WealthCare, TrumpCare, RyanCare can’t stand!

  • Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. Dalai Lama
  • Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
  • Helping others in need is the simplest way to guarantee that Allah will help you at your own time of need. Yasir Qahdi


  • Danny says:

    Frank, eloquent, heart felt, heart rendering. How will you be harnessing this compassion? I’m finding it difficult to right-size my direction and action. Life goes on, this needs so much, my energy seems boundless, but is limited, etc. I respect your take.

  • Hi, I’ve shared a link on PainPalsBlog regular featur “Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You”! Claire x

  • Frank Rider says:

    I agree, Danny. The health care bill that passed the House Thursday is a disastrous piece of legislation, that must not be permitted to emerge from the Senate. It would be an absolute horror show for millions of kids in this country who are growing up in poverty, in foster care, in need of life-preserving health care, of special education services, and of mental health promotion — and their families — and their communities.

    I care about this issue a lot. It has been a focus of my professional career since 1980. But I know it equally as well from my personal experiences, both as a foster parent for 13 years for a boy who had a combination of severe developmental disabilities; and more recently, as the patient. Let me share my experience:

    In 2008 i was diagnosed with “FAP” at age 50, and was promptly denied coverage by United Health Care because of that, while they offered to cover my wife and kids only. If the bill that passed the House today becomes law, then my state can legally decide whether to keep, revise or get rid of the guaranteed acceptance that Affordable Care Act created.

    I have worked hard and well full-time since graduating from college in 1979. I have paid no small amount of taxes in 40+ years, and have never needed to depend on public assistance. I have provided for my family, paid my own way, and often helped others along the way.

    What a godsend “ObamaCare” was for me at just the time I was diagnosed with a genetic cancer syndrome that made colorectal cancer a certainly and required major surgery and now ongoing close surveillance to take care of. And I have paid no small tax bill in the 7 years since the ACA literally helped save my life.

    This policy debate is neither about choosing i-phones over paying for health care, nor about people deserving whatever “pre-existing condition” they might have. And the lawmakers will have created, in people who manage the “high-risk pool” in my state, precisely the bureaucratic decision-makers they rhetorically cite as the antithesis to the free market forces they tell us will always lead to the right result.

    The market doesn’t always work well. Or equally well for everyone. Or well enough, no matter who you are. Every day we are every one of us a moment away from life-changing accident, a stroke or seizure, or debilitation by disease. At any time it might be our own brand new grandchild or niece or nephew being born with a congenital heart defect like Jimmy Kimmel’s baby.

    This bill allows states to permit companies to charge us rates based on our conditions, to impose limits on coverage that the ACA had specifically ended because they result in denial of needed care. This is not hypothetical, folks. This has actually happened to me. It is conceivable I might have to move to a different state just in order to afford the ongoing healthcare attention the government’s own treatment guidelines call for for our disease. People like me could find ourselves moving to cluster in certain states that would opt to keep the current guarantee, while leaving states who will not notice until it is too late what a large % of the workforce depends on having access to affordable health care.

    But even worse, it could cripple the essential safety net for millions of our nation’s innocent children who happen to find themselves poor, disabled, chronically ill, victimized by maltreatment or neglect, or otherwise in difficult circumstances. Failing to invest in healthy children insults our American conscience, and will assuredly insult our collective American future.

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