July 24, 2009

Health Care Forum: Heading for golden years, dementia shatters couple's dreams

Maribel and Melvin Salo were planning to live in Spain two months out of the year. It's where the Racine couple met and Maribel still had family and friends living in the Mediterranean city Alicante.

"We felt we had it made," Maribel said. "These were the golden years. We had everything planned out. Even if something happened, we thought we were set."

Maribel Salo. Image taken from the video, "Mel's Story" produced for Community
for Change's Health Care Forum
at the Masonic Center, 1012 Main St., 1-4 p.m.

When you hear stories about breakdowns in our health care system, this phrase often comes up: "We did everything right." That's the case with the Salos.

Mel served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years and left the service as a highly trained electrical engineer. He took a job at Grove Gear in Union Grove and the Salos bought a home in Sturtevant. Maribel worked at day cares and kindergarten classrooms. They had two children and now six grandchildren. They saved money and had good benefits their whole life.

Mel's dementia came on slowly. At first his "rush, rush" personality, as Maribel called it, turned into a more laid back attitude. Then one night they went to a neighbor's house to play dominoes. Mel, an electrical engineer who is brilliant at math, couldn't add the numbers.

A neurologist diagnosed him with frontotemporal dementia. There is no cure or even medicine to slow the disease's effects, and as it progresses, the patient requires heightened levels of medical care.

At first, Mel stayed at home. But Maribel couldn't lift him, then he became violent with her and one night he disappeared for six hours. Mel was found walking along the interstate. Maribel looked into 24-hour nursing care in their home, but it was too expensive. She made the difficult decision to move him to a nursing home, but that still costs $7,000 a month.

Now, just four years after he was diagnosed, the Salos' savings are gone. Mel, now 70, is living in the Becker-Shoop Center nursing home and Maribel is living in their house in Sturtevant. She can't work because she cares for Mel all day, and her money is running out.

"At night I go to sleep thinking, "How am I going to pay for this?'" Maribel said.

She's not alone. A recent study found medical bills accounted for 62 percent of all bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Three-quarters of the people who filed had medical insurance, and the numbers amounted to one medical bankruptcy every 90 seconds.

Maribel and Mel Salo during the recording of "Mel's Story" produced for Community
for Change's
Health Care Forum at the Masonic Center, 1012 Main St., 1-4 p.m.

But Maribel's case runs deeper than money. Mel's dementia consumes her life. She'd like to bring him home and have nurses help care for him there, but it's just too expensive. She's found some relief through organizations like Hospice and a local organization that provides respite care, but is concerned the nursing home staff doesn't have the time (or in some cases the interest) to care for Melvin how she'd like to see.

"I don't want them to put him by the window and forget about him," she said.

So Maribel shows up daily at breakfast, lunch and dinner to feed him and to try and stimulate his brain. She gets a few hours in the evening to herself, otherwise it's back and forth to the nursing home. Her family in Spain is hoping she'll come visit in November, but she's reluctant.

"I'm worried he won't get the care he needs," Maribel said.

I interviewed Maribel in the chapel at the Becker-Shoop Center nursing home in Racine. Mel was by her side in a wheelchair, but now, four years after he was diagnosed, he can no longer speak or walk. Only his eyes offer any type of expression. They seem bewildered.

While the Mel she describes as a handsome, outgoing man is gone, Maribel is devoted to her husband of 45 years. She visits three times daily to feed Mel - he struggles to swallow - and try anything to get his mind moving. On this day she'd just bought him a light-up children's toy Mel held in his hand. Maribel said it held his attention.

"I can do it for him because he would do it for me," she said.

But emotionally, Mel's illness is a hardship for Maribel.

"He was the person who I always relied on," she said. "He was a rock to lean on, and now I'm all alone."

She didn't have specific recommendations on how she'd like to change the health care system, she just believes there's a better way. Losing Mel to dementia is pain enough, she said but to lose a lifetime of savings just to keep him in a nursing home simply compounds the difficulty.

Maribel counsels herself she has to be strong. "You have no idea what tomorrow will bring," she said. "There is always hope tomorrow."

But the grief and stress leave their marks. "It's sometimes hard to think this way," she admits. "You think, 'Am I able to continue?'"

What would help is being home with Mel. His condition may not improve, but at least he'd be in a familiar environment with people he knew, she said.

"It would be much, much easier," Maribel said. "It would be more comfortable."

Community for Change's Health Care Forum is Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at the Masonic Center, 1012 Main St. The non-partisan event is free and open to the public.


  1. My first thought is, what a wonderful woman. My second thought is that nationalized health care wouldn't result in better care for her husband.

  2. These people did the right things. Maybe nationalized care isn't the best solution but we have to do something.

    What a brave and heroic woman. It takes a lot to share a personal story like that and it is up to all of us to follow these examples and push forward with making the system better. Those costs she mentioned are phenominal.

  3. Denis Navratil is not a health care expert he is a shop owner. How dare he prescribe what will or will not result in better care for her husband.

    Denis Navratil doesn't know that and he his lying because he and people like him prefer to do nothing.

    Denis owes this woman an apology. I'll never shop in his store and I'm sending a copy of this to every friend I know to boycott Dimlples.

    Dustin: Beautiful, touching story. This is happening to far too many people. Thank you.

  4. Tugging at hearts is a sure way to find a rational, fair solution.
    And I agree with DN - I would bet national health is not the magic answer.
    My wife will happily continue to shop at Dimples.

  5. Read the article, this woman doesn't talk about universal care...dingbat Denis does! Please let's not confuse the issues with the facts.

    No one is talking about universal coverage, just a better way to run health care.

  6. National health care isn't even on the table. People make the public OPTION out to be much more than it is. Suddenly the government owns the entire health care system, which just isn't true.

    Private insurance companies will still be around to compete. If the public option plan is so bad, then the private insurance companies will win the business with higher premiums but better service.

    The public plan would be but one option among many.

    Mel and Maribel's story should be a wake up call to everyone. Costs are out of control and you never know what will happen tomorrow. Maybe next time it won't be a story about them, it will be a story about you.

    We can do better.

  7. Thank you for the of free ads this week.
    Glad to know where The Post stands on Obama care.
    If I may please start an editorial section for stories like this.

  8. Colt

    Health Care is a national story right now, and huge decisions are about to be made. Paul Ryan is peppering the national media with his opposition to the current plan. I certainly think that is news worthy, as is an open forum in Racine to discuss the issue.

    We all have something at stake. I have not seen anyone edorse any plans, have you?

    This is a real story from our own town of people struggling in the current system. Seems people have forgotten what this is all about.

    Maribel is a great woman and I can't even begin to imagine the personal and financial toll this has taken. The system is in dire need of reform.

    The man served in the US Air Force for 20 years for heaven's sake.

    Name one thing they did wrong, and ask yourself if this story is ok in the United States of America.

  9. Urban Pioneer7/24/2009 2:28 PM

    It seems to me that Mel is getting the best care available..and let's not pretend that Dustin wrote the story because of the Health care debate Mel is fortunate he'll qualify help from the VA, Becker Shoop is a fine facility, Mel lives close enough to his wife and she loves him enough to go feed and care for him.. If we did put together a new health care reform...which is the foot in the door for Govt Health care..let's not pretend to be fooled.
    Bless you Maria, and pray that you won't have to rely on the Govt. when your health needs change.

  10. 2:07

    Lots of things that should not happen in this country.
    Marxism is NOT the answer, bankruptcy the Country is not the answer to any of them.

  11. This isn't a debate between freedom and Marxism. The people who want to make it about that do so because they have NO SOLUTIONS and they hate that they lost the election. Their way of life is dying and they can't handle it. They will let you die before they lift a finger to make things better for others.

    Insurance Company's are recording record profits in the worst recession in a lifetime! WAKE-UP! We rank 37th in the world in health care, and every other developed country has a comprehensive system of health for all their citizens.

    The US health care is an international joke and everyday, hardworking people are going broke. So let's just keep funneling billions to insurance companies, that's a whole lot smarter than being called a Marxist.

  12. A Trillion $$ is not chicken Feed where will it come from? Who will pay it?
    Should Illegals get this?
    And before those questions are asked how is it doing in England, France and the other counties that have it?
    If we are going to say that because other counties have it so should we, how about concealed carry 48 other states have it.

    and here are a few fun things the State did just because http://listverse.com/2008/03/14/top-10-evil-human-experiments/

    And gives tyhe state quite the power over who lives and who dies

    You trust the State?

  13. By 2017 the US will spend just under 20% of the GDP on health care without comprehensive reform. Get your insurance license while you can because if the "Party of No" gets their way, you'll be rolling in dough-but still won't be able to afford health care, get denied because you have a preexisting condition and lose you insurance if you switch companies!

    Oooooh! don't tread on me, I'd rather be dead than red. BINGO!

  14. Fear, fear, fear, conspiracy, fear. No, no, not for you, no and more fear.

    Mission accomplished!

  15. Sir Francis Galton7/24/2009 3:00 PM

    Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.

    Your too old for health care Mr. Colt

  16. 2:57 False Colt

    Not a conspiracy if it happened.
    Glad you trust the Government

  17. http://www.bjwolfejr.com/

  18. 3:02 False Colt

    It's true, I have no solutions and I don't care about anyone but me. I spin my scary stories so that poor women like Mirabel will be spared the horror of the CIA giving her husband LSD or turning him into a zombie because IT COULD HAPPEN! That's reason enough to not have health care reform.

    I stay in my house and suck on teabags, I have cases of duct tape and plastic just in case. You may think I'm crazy, but when Barack Obama executes his master plan to poison the air and water, enslave middle aged white men and become a practicing Muslim, you'll all see I was right!

    I am petting my gun I call Fred.

  19. Fear,fear,fear, conspiracy, wasn't that GW' method of operation. The right always resorts to fear when everything else fails. Health care reform is going to happen whether you like it or not!

  20. 1. Trillion dollars is spent over 10 years. The cost of doing nothing is far worse.

    2. The government is not taking control over the health care system. The only thing on the table is a public option to purchase health insurance.

    3. What is being proposed is nothing like what England and Canada have. They truly have a government run system. The proposals so far keeps the private insurance industry intact.

    4. The public option is not free. There is a premium associated with the plan, just like any other insurance plan.

    5. If you are upset about illegal immigration then go after the real criminals - the American companies and individuals that hire them. No jobs = no illegal immigration.

    6. If the public option results in long waits, rationing and denied care for the people that PURCHASE the public option insurance, then private insurance providers will reap the benefits. They can charge a premium and offer better service. They have nothing to worry about if the public option is as bad as advertised by some. So why so scared?

    7. We already pay for the uninsured through increased premiums. If you get care and don't pay your bills then those losses are passed to us anyway. Many people cannot afford coverage or the outrageous prices of services. Some go bankrupt and don't pay at all. We are picking up that tab.

    8. Heaven forbid you have a "pre-existing" condition and try to find coverage. You won't. And if you do need care you probably won't be able to pay, so we all pay anyway.

    9. Maribel shouldn't have to lose her entire life savings because something bad happened to her husband. She wants to pay, but is crippled by the costs and left with no alternatives. Any one of us could be next.

    10. We can't wait. Part of the reason it costs a trillion dollars to fix is because we waited so long to deal with this issue. No need to hurry, and we should get it right - but we need to get it done and not shuffle our feet simply to use this as an issue for the next election cycle. With everything going on, and the problems that exist - that would simply be treason.

  21. Health care reform is coming thank God! It took 61 years, but finally we're on the brink of change.

    George Bush did nothing, Republican controlled congress did nothing!

    Let's cover everyone, make it affordable and never risk losing coverage again to illness or job changes.

    A change IS in the air. Crazy gasbags: out of the way! You screwed things up long enough!

  22. Yea Anon 3:21!

    Perfectly said! No one should lose their lifesaving's because they got sick.

  23. I have to admit, you make many good points.

  24. Meet all you want looks like Obama does not have the support to get it the plan to the floor.
    Of course Nancy can force it to a vote but how many blue dogs will then back it?

  25. Gracias Maribel!

    Buena suerte, muchos bendiciones y un gran abrazote para ti y su familia.

  26. I would like to be there but do not care to be part of Mason's Triumph of the Will show.

  27. Change is coming! Colt can't stop it nobody can! It's coming!

  28. We’ve noted remarks by a senior aide to Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) that “probably the best part of the bill is the increase in Hospice care which will solve the prolonging of life issue.”

    That does not tend to make sense because hospice care is for people already at the end of life who need to be kept comfortable. How on earth does more hospice funding solve “prolonging of life issues” when people in hospice already know they are about to die?

    Well, it doesn’t until you consider stories like this.

    Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a “chilling” corruption of medical ethics.

    Since the spread of his prostate cancer, 53-year-old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore., has been in a fight for his life. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon’s state-run health plan for help.

    Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup’s request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup’s pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide.

    It sure is coming

  29. In other words I have found a needle in the haystack that represents health care and used my anecdotal piece of information to prove that we should do NOTHING unless we can do it perfectly.

  30. Mr. Lane would not have been dropped from insurance because of illness and it would be illegal to deny him coverage under the new plan.

    A government plan is not designed to be Medicaid, it's a group insurance plan paid for by the insured.

    Yea, an NO insurance company ever denied care to anyone. Oh wait! yes they did, to me, my mom, my kid and my husband. Wow! that's weird, I wonder if anyone else out they was ever denied by insurance companies?

  31. You've all been fooled.


    Any of this crap sound familiar? It was Republican Strategist Frank Luntz giving the Republicans talking points back in May before there was even a plan.

    Now, this is all you hear. The opponents of reform are using this exact language, including people in this comment area....even word for word in some cases.

    Take a step back and ask yourselves why you continue to be used. Take the initiative and think for yourselves, not what some pollster told you to think in May before there was a plan.

    Government Takeover, Rationing, Bureaucrats Coming Between You and Your Doctor.....all you are doing is repeating their talking points. Consider the brainwashing complete and you bought it hook, line and sinker.

    Stop making their job so easy....it's really embarassing.

  32. Frank Luntz in May:

    Here are some suggested arguments for Republicans that Luntz calls “clear winners”:

    —“It could lead to the government setting standards of care, instead of doctors who really know what’s best.”

    —“It could lead to the government rationing care, making people stand in line and denying treatment like they do in other countries with national healthcare.”

    -“President Obama wants to put the Washington bureaucrats in charge of healthcare. I want to put the medical professionals in charge, and I want patients as an equal partner.”

    Tools aren't we all.

    This whole Republican strategy is not intended to help reform the healthcare system, but the sole purpose is political. The command was given to spread these talking points and several media outlets quickly obliged. And now we hear it over and over again.

    That's fine, but then you really have to question the motivation of the people that are force feeding this message down our throats. I mean, it was done before a plan was even on the table. This was MAY!

    The answer is politics. Republicans are playing politics with health care reform to try to make a run at more seats in the House and Senate. They want people to turn against Obama, not because the plan is bad, but because they want to regain power.

    Notice how none of these claims are backed up at all. That didn't matter. What mattered was getting the word out and scaring people....facts be damned.

    So now if you've just been repeating this stuff you have to ask yourself, can these people really be trusted? They want to do the thinking for you and have you repeat what they want you to say.

    Stand up, fight back and stop being used by either party. Do your homework and think for yourself. Always question the motivation of the people trying to sell you something.

    Don't be a tool.

  33. I don't know that anybody's nationalizing health care, but those of us in Wisconsin should recognize what a lifesaver (literally) it is to have a public insurance option called HIRSP, the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan. My private health care runs out soon and because of my medical condition, I am not eligible to renew any health insurance on the private market whatsoever. I'm not a veteran, so I can't fall back on the VA, but at least I can still buy a HIRSP policy so I won't risk my house and savings as I continue to treat my illness, at least until I become eligible for Medicare. Government exists to do what the private sector cannot do. The private sector can't (or won't) insure everybody, so some people like me - or those who simply cannot afford insurance even if they're eligible - need a government-sponsored option to fill the bill. This is a humane, necessary step for government to take, and I'm all for it, especially for those millions of uninsured people who don't happen to live in Wisconsin. Here's an historic chance to combine the best of private enterprise and the best of government's strength to do right by nearly everybody. Let's not blow it.

  34. Thank you Randolph!

  35. Don't be fooled by Limbaugh, Hannity, and all the other right wing wackos. We deperately need healthcare reform and cannot wait for the perfect plan, we have waited over sixty years already and too many people have suffered physically and financialy because of this. This is change we need!

  36. Too many people have died while we've been trying to figure this out. How many more before we care enough to do something about it?

  37. Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore I am thinking does not think of himself as a needle. We now know Fake Colt 4:09 that one or two or maybe a few hundred mean nothing if it serves the great Obama.
    Maybe when its your wife or child it might then be too late

  38. Colt

    By exchanging conversation here, do you realize that in 2 posts you have held a longer discussion on healthcare reform in Racine than Paul Ryan has this year?

    I salute you sir!

  39. What's your point Colt? Do you have one besides the government can't be trusted?

    Health Care is bankrupting us as a country and as individuals. Don't you get that? Something has to be done! Your argument of Marxism and conspiracy is sad, besides the point and uninformed and your obsession with anything Obama is pathetic. I wouldn't care if George F'ing Bush was behind this-we need to do something.

    You are a very ill person, I know who you are in real life so I'm not guessing Wayne. Stop blogging and get some help, and for your sake, I hope it's covered.

  40. Rees Roberts7/24/2009 8:15 PM

    This is absolutely amazing. One side uses facts and the other side argues fear. This is so sad.

    The irony of this is most of you who are against health care change will, if you succeed, will be the ones who are hurt the most. Why? Read this carefully......

    The cost to Medicare is rising at an alarming rate. OVER 10 percent INCREASE a YEAR. Now tell me. How are you going to obtain medical care by the time you retire? By then the cost will have risen so much it will be impossible to pay. This is what they call UNSUSTAINABLE. We simply can not continue this way.

    So it is the cost of Health care which is at the root of our future economic crisis. Medicare, if left to the ways we have now will bankrupt not only people like you and me but the entire country. Is that what you want? Geez people, get a handle on what this is all about.

    The Federal government's budget for Medicare will soon, if not already, be larger than the Defense Dept. And you want a system that completely swallows up the entire country? Think about it. The conservatives are going to conserve themselves into total abyss if this is left to continue. How many more 10 to 15 percent per year increases in cost do you think we can handle? And in this economy as well.

    And if you are here to just be entertained by arguing for the fun of it then I hope the heck you enjoy your golden years without any care at all because that will be the result of your being against health care reform.

    To those going to the Health Care Forum you won't be Anonymous there. Speak responsibly here for a change and at the Forum.

    And be careful of the politicians. I headed Sustainable Racine's Health care committee after their Visionary conference a number of years ago where nearly a thousand Racine folks attended. Health care was then voted as #2 in priority. We were about to suggest a county plan (as opposed to a State or Federal plan) when then State Rep. John Lehman stomped on our plan and said that the State was going to introduce a health care plan "in a month or two". Of course nothing happened. Be wary, be careful of promises made. Now State Senator Lehman, fool me once woe on you, fool me twice woe on me.

    We need to have change. The costs are driving us nuts. On top of the current crisis in the economy the cost of health care would be the final blow. If left to those who believe the fear mongers I simply say don't believe them. If we do nothing we will be simply screwing ourselves. We need to remember who benefits if we do nothing. The people of this country sure won't.

    Rees Roberts

  41. 8:10

    Is this how you handle all your arguments? If someone disagrees they must be ill and need help? Just like the Gulags but then Obama might be just like Stalin

  42. Rees

    If anyone here thinks they are going to see Medicare or Social Security you should think twice.
    If you have a 401K or IRA you may not have it for long. There are moves to force you to turn them over to the government to control.
    Is there issues sure my wife pays $800 a month for nothing. However Obama care is not the answer. IMHO this fourm is nothing more the Obama's team trying to build grassroots support for a program he has all ready lost. Thank you Blue Dogs
    Interesting to see the rage over this issue wait until Cap and Trade wait until we see 20% unemployment

  43. I get very irritated when people use extreme cases, and the feelings of empathy that they invoke, to persuade people in political decision making.

  44. Every one:

    Please stop responding to Colt. Ignore his posts and leave it alone. It's a waste of time, don't respond.

  45. We do need reform. Costs are out of control and small business can't afford to continue to offer coverage to their employees. This is an economy killer for our grandkids if we don't act.

  46. Rees Roberts7/25/2009 5:34 AM

    Anon 10:54 PM:


    However, I believe due to a collection of other circumstances we will see a perfect storm of bad economic news way before our grand kids see it. Consider Peak Oil, Climate Change as well as run away cost in health care.

    I will not comment about a certain individual. My comments stand.

  47. Those of us in the middle are being hammered from both sides. Lets just hope some sense will prevail and that health care reform happens. The fear from the right and euphoria from the far left is killing this country. We have elected President Obama like it or not we need to let him move forward with his plan. If it is one that allows us to keep our present insurance, assures us we cannot be cancelled for a pre-existing, provides coverage for those who do not have insurance, and controls costs we will have solved 75% of the problem.

  48. Writing in Friday’s New York Post, McCaughey offers this disturbing information:

    “One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’ This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”

    Why might this be in the ObamaCare bill? One of the reasons health care costs a lot is because we are living longer lives, and we have more health issues as we age. So, as columnist Charles Krauthammer recently put it, death is cheaper. It’s the same “logic” with abortion, a procedure that costs far less than delivering and raising a baby. Sadly, to Big Government’s bottom line each human life is a liability, not an asset with intrinsic worth and value.

    I also find it ironic that the movement which routinely accuses conservatives of wanting to take away “a woman’s choice,” is feverishly working on a healthcare bill that takes away everyone’s choice. It forces Americans into government-approved plans, and then seeks to regulate (through fines and higher taxes) every aspect of their lives – even mandating counseling sessions for seniors on how to die.

  49. The New York Post only presents one side of the debate and Charles Krauthammer's views are right along side those of Rush Limbaugh.

  50. I don't believe that our medical help here in the US is good at any price. Why buy more?

    Over the years I have seen several different Dr.s in town and they actually talk with me for maybe 5 minutes. They all suggest anti-depressants and birth control. I never filled out any sort of form for them to know enough about me.

    The pharma companies have their hooks into most of our medical professionals.

    No Dr. yet has asked me about my diet or exercise. I am overweight. We would be wasting money to buy anymore of this.

    I appreciate holistic and chiropractors because they take the time to get to know you and prescribe a plan from that. Not just write you a script so they can get an award of some sort from Big Pharma.

  51. I wish that Kelly Gallaher and her followers would identify themselves by name when they post. Based on the language of and direction given by one anonymous poster, I strongly suspect that Ms. Gallaher has already made several comments on this site without identifying herself.

  52. I wish that YOU people would not chose to debate your non-stop rhetoric in a blog following the story of REAL people, and thier story. They are not asking for your sympathy, they simply want to share their experience for others to learn from, and hopefully the correct ears will listen. Mel and Maribel are REAL people! They are parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters - just like so many of us. Many talk smack until it is their family member, or them, that is need of care, whether it be acute, chronic, or in a long-term setting. In most countries the elderly are revered, here they are often merely cast aside.

    I suggest that instead of sitting behing your computer 24/7 and waiting for something to pounce on, get off your butt, and find out how you can be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Go to a nursing home and offer volunteer time. Believe me, there are a lot of "Mel's" out their without "Maribel's". Maybe you could bring an element of joy to someone, instead of sitting and judging.

    I did not realize that Kelly Gallaher had a following...But kudo's go to the volunteers who are brave and energetic enough to hold a Community Conversation on Health Care. That's right - it is for all of our community to converse about. Come and see what services are available, how accessible and available they are, and what we need. I dare you to come and hear the stories of REAL people that have struggled and some have survived, and some give care as Maribel does, and to work towards a solution.

    We no longer are a country of "me", we are a country of "we". Don't get lost in the shuffle - step forward and do your part for someone other than yourself!

  53. I did not realize I had a following either! I don't "blog" very often, but when I do I use my name.

    I want to take a minute to thank Sandy Petrykowski, a very talented filmmaker and producer from Soura Films who made this film which is a moving portrait of a real family. I also want to thank Dustin Block for writing an excellent story. A very similar situation happened in my family and Maribel's experience is something many of us can relate to.

    This event was planned and organized by approximately a dozen people from Community for Change. There will be approx. 50 health care organizations and businesses at the expo. We are looking forward to celebrating their good work in our community. Community leaders of all kinds will participate in the public forum and listen to presentations by individuals, businesses and providers. They will share their stories so that we may all leave the event having learned something.

    We planned this event because health care is a big subject and it is worthy of a real discussion by professionals and people actively working in and with the present system. As I read the comments above I see we were right to think so.

    I hope people who want to find out more, who want to share their experiences with others and desire to talk to real health care professionals and community leaders about how to make health care better will come tomorrow. The doors open at 1pm. The Masonic Center is handicapped accessible and we have Spanish translators available as well. This event is free for attendees as well as all participants.

    "Blogs" are great, but the discussion above does not do nearly enough to answer questions people have and begin a real dialog about such an important subject.

  54. Downtown Denizen7/25/2009 7:15 PM

    I have a friend with spinalbiphida. He's looked into this proposed health care and told me that if we move in that direction he will die because the government will not provide the proper care which he needs.

    Now let's look at Maribel's situation: as reported by the Journal Times, Obamacare will only provide up to $22,000.00 for care for any one individual. How far is that going to go in her present situation? Not far at all. Also, Obama believes that a man in Mel's circumstances and at his age should just be left to die.

    Read between the lines folks! The Nazi's are back. They call themselves liberals and are led by a facist, muslim, bisexual, illegal alien called Obama. The first bill he signed allows minor girls to have secret abortions, makes it illegal to notify the parents and uses tax dollars to pay for them. Is this the kind of a-hole you want reforming national health care?

    The answer is to bring down the cost of health care. Make it affordable so that the insurance companies can lower the premium costs. Drug companies tell you the R&D costs for finding new drugs is the reason prescriptions cost so much. It's a lie. It's profits! Bring down the cost of malpractice insurance and put a limit to legal judgements and lawyer's fees. And on, and on, and on. The cost of health care is the monster, not heath care itself.

    If the government really wants to help, build care centers (or convert old bases) for our retired ill and find responsible people who really want to help humanity that are willing to accept a reasonable (rather than inflated) wage to work there. Stop attending to illegal aliens, send them home for care. Use non-violent prisoners from our prisons and able bodied welfare recipients to clean, repair and maintain these facilities. There are answers and a place for government in health care reform, but what Fuher Obama is offering isn't it.

    It's time for every voter in this country to go to the polls and vote out EVERY incumbent holding office (regardless of party), place a 2-3 term limit on the newly elected ones and get this country back on track.


    Let's hear it for Downtown Denizen's invoking of Godwin's Law!!

    For those of you unfamiliar with Godwin's Law, here's what Wikipedia has to say: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

  56. By the way I love Dimples .. as far as Maribel and Mel Please try an alternative route try Ayurveda ..I looked it up and it maybe be a Vata imbalance..change of foods for the imbalance would help and possible music therapy, thats all I can say for now I am not a doctor but a student I do research until I find an answer of some sort some where to start its never to late to try ... I will have both of you in my Thoughts and Prayers....

  57. The government is not taking over the healthcare system. Providing a public option for health insurance, leaving private carriers intact hardly qualifies as a takeover. What has been taken over is people's ability to think on their own and stop repeating everything they are told to say.

  58. This man should qualify for veteran's benefits. Union Grove has a facility where he should be getting care without the high costs of care his wife has to bear.

    My grandfather suffered from Dementia and lived his last few years in Becker Shoop. It is a hearbreaking thing for a family to go through.

    Perhaps Dennis Navratil can keep his political commentaries to himself and focus on the bravery of this fine woman and the heartbreak of Dementia.

  59. Colt - i read what you wruite and opinions are like a$$holes - everyone has one. However, all you do is show up and talk smack like a monday morning QB. I didn't see your name on any ballot in any election this year. Dennis Navartil has some very valid issues and IS active in the community. My final thought on colt - "show up and shut up!"

    think the screen name is abbreviated for your favorite beverage COLT 45. Have another one buddy!

  60. Mel and Maribel - God bless you both, and thanks for sharing your story. I hope you find strength in your love and all the wonderful years you had together. Maribel is so courageous. What an amazing woman.

  61. There are few things more annoying than when predominately middle to upper class individuals defend the soundness and logic of government systems, when they have never in their lives used government-run services before.

    How can one speak about the efficiency of a system one has never used?

  62. Denis put his name to his post. People wine about anonymous posts. Well if your going to fly off the handle because a shop co-owner dares has an opinion different then yours your a jerk.

    This is why I will keep posting anonymously. Small minded egotistical people like the ones who want to organize a boycott because of a personal opinion.

  63. Oh and anon 12:50, why not tell us where you work? I notice you don't give your name but attack others who do.

  64. This is such a complex topic. My personal feeling is that we need to do something about health care and insurance, but that this plan is deeply flawed and is being rushed through. I love the idea of doing something, I hate the idea of doing something that's going to crush us with other costs. That's craziness -- my children face an uncertain future, just because of the national debt.

    I also think we all need to do as much pre-planning as we can. We need to plan for long-term care, for example (we're looking into that now). The book Die$mart is a VERY useful, easy-to-understand guide as to how to approach planning for our golden years. I recommend it.

    We can't predict what will happen to us. We can only try to make what happens to us bearable and do-able.

  65. Downtown Denizen7/28/2009 8:08 AM

    To Pete for "Let's hear it for Downtown Denizen's invoking of Godwin's Law!!"

    Just because something is said doesn't mean it's true. But, there is the other side of the coin: just because something is said that falls into your "Godwin's Law" catagory doesn't mean it's not true.

    It's obvious that the vast majority of people who post opinions here are of the white middle-class variety. Want to hear what a centrist, well educated black man has to say about Obama? Go to You Tube and punch up Dr. Manning and his "Manning Reports." Here's a man that pretty much has a grip on the pulse of what's really happening in Obama's Eagle's Nest.