[Podcast] Journo: I love my "socialist" kidney
Most people think of single payer health care in America as something akin to science fiction--a bold idea that might be possible someday, but certainly not an option in the here and now.
Journalist Jennifer Nix points out that the U.S. already has single payer care, not only for the aged (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid) but also for patients with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) who need dialysis or a transplant.
Nix has a unique perspective on Medicare ESRD, as the latter program is known. It saved her father's life in 1973 and her own life this year. Nix found out in 2008 that she inherited the same cystic kidney disease that put her dad on single payer dialysis in the seventies. Medicare ESRD covered a stint on dialysis, her kidney transplant, and anti-rejection drugs for a limited period after surgery (her private insurance covers them now).
Since its inception, Medicare ESRD has enabled over 1 million people survive regardless of their ability to pay. If your kidneys failed tomorrow you won't be left to die because you can't afford dialysis or a transplant. Wouldn't it be nice if all Americans could enjoy the same level of security for their hearts and other organs?
Here's my podcast interview with Nix at the Daily Pulse.