Dear Mr. President,
In today’s issue of the Sacramento Bee, there was a heart-wrenching story written by Loretta Kalb, about a formerly homeless couple getting married. This was not a story about homelessness, but a story about our failure to provide adequate access to health-care, and about ordinary citizens joining together to bring a little happiness to a very special couple.
Heart–wrenching because Tammie Day, just 42 years old is dying of the cancer she was diagnosed with 5 years ago. One could naturally ask, why would such a young person be dying of cancer when she lives in an area with excellent cancer treatment facilities like UC Davis Medical Center? The answer is because she was homeless, and the homeless have to jump through hoops just to access the meager county medical services. That, in of itself, is not the problem… the problem is how do the homeless coordinate their care, how do they get to appointments, how do they keep in touch with their doctors, and how do they handle the inevitable ‘sickness’ that is associated with cancer treatments when they are forced to move from one location to another on a regular basis? The answer is they don’t, and that is why Tammie Day is dying.
Thanks to some wonderful people from Mars Hill Community Church, members were able to provide a special day for Tammie and Larry Carmack. Church member Felicia Woodard planned the wedding and organized the supporters and volunteers that provided lunch, entertainment, and a honeymoon night stay at Embassy Suites in Sacramento.
But the real tragedy of this story goes unreported. In the 5 years that Tammie has been living with cancer, we have a parade of Federal Prisoners going in and out of UC Davis Cancer Treatment Center getting the best care money can buy. You may ask how I know this? Because I was a cancer patient at UC Davis myself, and I asked the two, not one but two guards, what they were doing there. They replied that they were escorting and guarding a prisoner while he got his radiation treatments.
Only in America do our criminals get this kind of care. We have millions of Americans that cannot afford insurance, do not have access to this type of medical care, and yet we can afford to spend the taxpayers money on criminals? How and why do we allow this? And please don’t give that old song and dance about “civil liberties.” When are the liberties of law abiding citizens going to come before those who choose to break our laws?
My plea to you today Mr. President… we need to revamp our priorities, we need to stop wasting precious dollars in the Federal Prison System, and invest more in schools, our children, and people that live their lives within our set of established laws.
The Gadfly Granny