My name is Katherine Ottaway and I am a Mad as Hell Doctor.
I am a Family Practice physician. I live in a rural town of 9000 and I take care of people from birth to death. I have delivered babies for 18 years.
I am Mad as Hell because people are suffering and 30% of the money spent on health care goes to administration and profit, not to health care. 60% of bankruptcies in the United States are triggered by medical bills.
I am Mad as Hell because my patients tell me their stories. A patient came to me, a man in his upper 50s. He had worked hard, done well, retired early. The American Dream, right? He decided to give back to the world and joined the Peace Corps. He had health insurance that covered him overseas.
While he was gone, a friend got sick. Very sick, with cancer. The retired man came back to the United States to take care of his friend, until the friend died. Then the retired man had a heart attack.
He was life flighted (about $10,000) on a helicopter and had a stent and treatment.
He had forgotten that his insurance only covered him when he was abroad. In the United States, he was uninsured.
"I'm starting over," he said, "My retirement is entirely gone to medical bills."
That would not happen in any other industrialized country. Not in Denmark, England, Cuba, Slovakia. Why? They have decided that everyone has the right to single payer. Everyone gets care! You can only be bankrupt by medical bills in the United States.
I am Mad as Hell that the American Dream no longer exists and that my patient's retirement was wiped out. We need single payer.