To those folks who continue to argue with their heart and soul that the United States has the best health care on Earth, maybe you should read this story.
Oh, and, you’re wrong.
Most of us know the American health care system is pretty bad for a large segment of the population, but it’s stories like this that really drive the point home.
James Farmer was an employee at Starbucks who tragically passed away on August 11 due to kidney failure. Farmer was only 22 years old, and his story has gone viral because it highlights the failure of the American health care system to protect its citizens in many cases. James Farmer was unable to take off work to have his dialysis treatments because he couldn’t afford to miss out on any paychecks because, like many Americans, he lived paycheck-to-paycheck.
A writer named Allison Robicelli was friends with Farmer, and she shared his sad story on Twitter to shed light on a situation that untold numberas of hourly and low-wage workers across the country have to deal with. Robicelli included the #ChickenSandwich hashtag in her tweet to reference the hoopla surrounding the Popeye’s chicken sandwich and how people should refocus their thoughts and priorities on things that literally amount to life and death.
Robicelli wrote, “The people who serve you coffee and sandwiches, the people who barely get by because a living wage ‘isn’t in the best interest of shareholders,’ the people who so many believe don’t deserve to be paid fairly: they are people.”
For the record, Starbucks says that it offers its baristas healthcare coverage if they work an average of at least 20 hours per week. All Starbucks employees also get one hour of paid time off for sick days for every 30 hours worked.
A sad story and one that will hopefully inspire those in high places in business and government to make a change.
A GoFundMe page to pay for Farmer’s funeral expenses already exceeded its goal, but you can still donate to honor James Farmer’s memory.