With a health care vote imminent, Congressional leaders should take a few minutes to read this courageous, emotionally moving article by Amanda Bennett on her husband's fight against terminal cancer. It's a first-person reflection on the financial vagaries of our health care system, itself terminally ill.
Bennett openly asks the gut-wrenching decisions that every family facing a serious illness - and their physicians - must answer: How do we balance quality of life for a terminally ill patient versus the push to extend life for just one more day? How do we make the end-of-life health care choices that respect patient autonomy and the drive to cure, but don't cross the line into futile care?
The article also explores a twisted health care reimbursement system, where different insurance companies pay different rates for the exact same procedure. The latest anti-cancer medicines can cost tens of thousands of dollars per dose. Thirty-one percent of money spent on health care goes to paperwork and administration, not treatment.
Here's hoping that Congress can get health care reform passed.