Nothing Says 'America' Like A 7-Year-Old Selling Lemonade To Pay For Brain Surgery
As much as people like to complain about the news being depressing and bad all of the time, some of the most truly depressing and bad news tends to be the kind of news that is supposed to be all uplifting and inspiring — like that awful story a few months back about the school grocery store that "sold" food and other necessities in exchange for "good deeds." The idea of saying to hungry people, during a pandemic "You can have this box of cereal, but you gotta go help an old lady across the street first" is bizarre. If people need food, feed them.
The latest in this "be inspired by this news that actually just highlights how extremely messed up our country and/or world is!" genre is an article actually titled "'I hope I make it': 7-year-old Alabama girl selling lemonade to fund her own brain surgeries."
Savage's Bakery in Homewood is now serving a new kind of lemonade–a special concoction customers won't find on their regular menu.
Liza Scott, the 7-year-old daughter of owner Elizabeth Scott, has set up a lemonade stand inside the bakery. Because when life gave her lemons…
She made lemonade.
Life did not actually give this child lemons. Life gave her three cerebral malformations that are causing her to have Grand Mal Seizures and which could cause bleeding, hemorrhaging and stroke in the future if not taken care of. Life gave her residence in a country that does not consider health care to be a human right, and although her mother had purchased additional insurance, the family was still not able to cover her medical bills.
Elizabeth Scott purchased additional insurance to help pay for Liza's brain surgeries. But with travel and hotel costs heaped on top of medical expenses, the family is already nearing $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.
"As a single mom and the financial supporter of both of my children, this is not something you can budget for," Scott said.
It sure isn't. You cannot exactly personal responsibility your way out of cerebral malformations.
Liza and her mother ended up raising nearly $139,000. And you know, that's great, it's great that she will get the treatments she needs, and it's great that people care — because we obviously should care. But getting a child healthcare the healthcare they need shouldn't be dependent on being able to get the local news to do a story on them, or make a super cute video or touch people's hearts in some way. Getting anyone health care shouldn't. Crowdfunded healthcare is a bad, and ultimately inefficient, way of doing things. You end up with some people getting way more than they need and others getting nowhere near enough. If only there was some kind of solution that would be better!
But I get it. Some people are madly in love with private insurance companies and vastly prefer that to a single payer system in which all health care would be covered by tax dollars and free at the point of service. Obviously they are getting some incredible additional benefits from said insurance companies that I don't know anything about, and I am willing to respect that. I assume it's probably something like a Harry and David gift basket (or even jewels!) every month from Blue Cross. Maybe Aetna representatives come by and clean their bathrooms? I don't really know, I just figure it is very impressive. Why else would anyone want to live this way?
But it has to be clear to one and all that a system in which a 7-year-old girl is selling lemonade to try to help pay for her brain surgery is not a system that is working very well. The only thing that should be "inspiring" about this is that it should "inspire" us all to push for something better.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse