Monday, March 22, 2010


I'm going to go over some things that I heard last night in Obama's speech about healthcare.

"neither illness or accident"

My family has been changed terribly several times by illnesses and accidents. Did we have insurance each time? Almost without exclusion, no we did not. We cannot afford health insurance for any member of our family.

"rose above weight of our politics"

I'm not entirely sure this is true. Yes, within the Democratic Party, differences were resolved in order to bring a majority vote in favor of the bill. Still, no Republicans voted for the bill and that may come back to bite the administration in the near future.

"change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up"

Changes from the top-down often end up leading to problems, but changes from the bottom-up tend to stick around longer.

"answers the prayers of every american who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a healthcare system that works for insurance companies and not the people"

Damn straight. I've tried to look at health insurance on my own. In my last post, I discussed the outrageous fees and lack of assistance by health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. I'm sorry that I have a chronic illness - trust me I didn't ask for it. Why do I currently have to pay more? I shouldn't, and this bill should work on that.

"every parent who knows the desperation of trying to cover a child with a chronic illness and being told no over and over again"

It was about this point in the speech when I broke down crying. I remember being so sick when I was little and dealing with all the doctors. We were lucky enough that we lived in Oregon, a state with great insurance programs. I can't imagine having to go through everything without the assistance of the government.

"it's a victory for them, it's a victory for the american people"

I hope that everyone will come to see this in the long run.

"will not fix everything that ails our healthcare system but it moves us decidedly in the right direction"

It is obviously not a quick fix. This isn't like the system backed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, where we can flip a switch and fix everything. It will take time and hard work, but it will be worth it in the end.

"we have a solemn responsibility to do things right"

For ourselves and future generations.

If You Think Healthcare Was A Bad Idea...

You don't know my step-dad. He has diabetes and has had to have two toes amputated because of it. Now he is thousands of dollars in debt. He can't work his old job anymore because of how hard it is on his body. Months later, he is still in pain and has to elevate his feet.

You don't know my mom. She has been sick since November with what seems to be a large number of cysts in her abdomen. She is in a huge amount of pain but won't go back to the doctor because it costs too much and she can't really miss work. She works at the same place my step-dad used to work, which is very physically demanding. Her employer is too cheap to pay her well or give her benefits despite how hard she works for them - both on and off the clock.

A few years ago, I literally watched my mother die in front of me as a result of a miscarriage. We were lucky enough that they saved her life, but she never got the blood transfusion she needed or other necessary care. Why? Because she didn't have insurance. As a result, her body does not function right often and her memory has been affected.

You don't know my sister. Her life was altered drastically when she had a seizure last May. I was the only one with her and I swear she looked dead. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen. As we were getting her into the ambulance, she was trying to get out of the stretcher, screaming that we couldn't afford this. She was seventeen at the time and in a huge amount of pain, but was worried about the family financial situation more than herself. Her life was saved later when she also had to have an emergency appendectomy. We were lucky enough that she was on Badger Care because of her seizure. It's odd how things work out sometimes.

You don't know me. I lose insurance at the end of July from Carroll. To buy insurance on my own, because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, it would cost $1600 a month and not cover anything more than routine doctor's visits - not medicines, tests, x-rays, physical therapy, etc. Medications can cost anywhere from $100 a bottle to $2500 a pill.

And you don't know the people of America. There are families who are teetering on the edge of homelessness, having to make the choice between buying food and paying the bills. They don't even have the money to think about getting insurance, let alone cover their children and themselves. The story of my family is odd, but not unique by any means.

Thursday, March 11, 2010