Our healthcare system killed her 22-year-old daughter

Our immoral profit-driven healthcare system killed Shalynne, the daughter of Amy Vilela. She tells the story that brought her to Medicare for All and her activism.

I interviewed Amy at a Bernie Sanders headquarters in Las Vegas Nevada just before the state caucus. Amy Vilela said that after her daughter's death she knew she had to give up what she was doing to make this her cause celebre. Her support for Medicare for All is necessarily unwavering.

She recounts how immoral healthcare system kills daughter

After a long interstate drive to Nevada, Shalynne, Amy Vilela's daughter, leg swole up, turned very red and was very painful. She knew something was wrong and went to the hospital.

The first thing the hospital asked for was health insurance, not about her health. Shalynne did not realize she was still insured and said she thought she did not have insurance. Amy said the hospital coaxed her daughter to leave.

By the time she was seen again, Shalynne had developed a severe deep vein thrombosis. As Amy Vilela explained in her video, her daughter died soon thereafter.

When one goes to a hospital, doctor, or emergency room, why is it that before any care is provided, insurance and payment are the first questions? At the time of maximum health uncertainty and vulnerability that is not only inhumane but evil.

The irony of this story is that Shalynne's great grandfather was Roscoe Lewis McKinney, founder of the department of anatomy at the College of Medicine at Howard University. When his great-grandaughter needed help, an inhumane healthcare system failed her. This should not happen in the richest country in the world where the resources are there to provide healthcare for every American.

Amy Vilela closed with the most profound statement.

“Once you see evil,” Aby said. “If you do nothing about it then you are complicit.

Too many see the evil but continue, mostly for a false ideology, and willful acceptance of corporate deceivers' false narratives, to slow the path to Medicare for All.

  • February 20, 2020