A while ago, I wrote about Stories of Health, our project to document how America's broken health care system affects us all.
On the eve of Congress' historic health care vote, I have some more stories to share.
Since that time, we've continued to travel. We spent a week in Los Angeles, where we heard from folks like Nina, whose parents had to sell their house to pay their health care bills.
Thanks to the Angela and Nancy at Health Access, we had the good fortune to meet Carla and Susan, two amazing doctors at LA County hospital. If you heard what Carla told us after the camera was turned off, you'd have been as inspired as I was to know there are such amazing doctors out there. It's incredible what they get done with such limited resources. Carla's a primary care physician, not a specialist, and the wait to see her is three months.
On the way back, we stopped in Bakersfield, where we met the amazing Matthew Cruise. Matthew's a Vietnam war veteran who went on to start a microfinance NGO, Pull Up from Poverty.
Despite having insurance, Matthew's wife is going to go to India to have her hip replacement surgery performed. Why? Because the trip to India and the cost of surgery is still cheaper than their 20% patient responsibility.
We have had the good fortune to work with Meghan Newell, a fantastic video editor who put these together:
If you need another reason to call congress here are 65 more.
Call for Grace, who lost her husband.
Tell your sister to call for Liz's sister, who doesn't know how she'll pay her emergency room bills.
Have your cousin call for Steven, whose premiums have increased 107% in 30 months.
Have your best friend for Margriet, who can't read this diary entry because she can't afford her Glaucoma medication.
Have your Mom call for for Toni, so her children won't go without health insurance.