Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My name is Lynn and I support universal health care.

I am not a genius, and I don't know much about political anythings. I do know that you can't see Russia from Alaska, so in some circles that makes me more qualified for Washington than former vice presidential candidates, but still... I don't profess to be an expert on anything (although I did really well in debate the year our topic was universal health care so that must mean something, right???). However, I don't think it takes a genius to see that health care in this country is in the pooper. I don't think you need a masters in political science or a background in constitutional law to see that the status quo ain't good. There is no life, liberty and pursuit of happiness if you are dead, dying and pursuing crap medical care because you can't afford the treatment that you really need. And all men are certainly not created equally when the folks with the moolah get the meds and the poor folk get to wait in overcrowded emergency rooms waiting for someone to see their sick kid only to find out that their medications will cost too much out of pocket and they leave with nothing. But, here's what I do know...

I know that my son has had ear tubes twice, with one more set coming on Friday. I know that my insurance requires us to pay a $3,000 family deductible and the last two times Will had this surgery we were billed about $900 out of pocket... each time. I know that while that is an extreme hardship on my middle class, single income family.... we are lucky enough to be able to pay it. I know that another mother, in another town whose husband doesn't have the mediocre insurance that we have, would not be able to pay. I know that woman has to sit up with her son while he suffers the inconsolable pain of chronic ear infections and eventually that woman's son will have permanent hearing damage from the fluid festering in her son's ears. I know that is happening all over this country, and that is why I know our system sucks.

I know that there is a man in Delaware in desperate need of a lung transplant. I know that he is a former United States Marine and has been employed and insured his entire adult life. I know that the transplant he needs to survive is covered by his insurance. I know that the aftercare required to keep those lungs functioning is not. I know that the transplant gods who divvy up the organs will not give a dying man a set of lungs that he cannot keep alive. And I know that this man will die without them. So, this man is physically an excellent candidate for a transplant, his insurance will pay for the surgery, but at the same time, it makes it impossible for him to qualify for it. I know that his four children think this is unfair and it appears to be a form of corporate sponsored murder, and that is why I know our system sucks.

I know that a good friend of mine was laid off from her job after 10 years at the same company. I know that she decided to try starting her own dream business, something she was previously too afraid to do. I know that she tried to get medical insurance privately, and a surgery she had a couple years earlier was considered a pre-existing condition and she was rejected. The only insurance she could get would have cost a fortune and covered virtually nothing. By the grace of God, my friend didn't suffer any medical misfortune while she was without medical coverage, but that could have been different. One appendix rupture or one severely broken bone and she could be in serious, long term debt exceeding even her college student loans. I know that it sucks to avoid minor check ups at the doctor just because you know you don't have the cash to cover it that week, and I know that is why our system sucks.

I don't know if President Obama's plan is the right one. I know it is expensive and I know change is scary... but I can't understand why doing nothing seems like a better alternative. I know that Australia, England and Canada have all managed to provide quality health care to their citizens (all of them!!!) and those three countries have managed to continue to exist thereafter. Amazingly, their entire infrastructure didn't crumble just because they actually treat all their citizens equally. I know that this system sucks, and I find it hard to believe anyone out there can't agree on that. As far as the current plan of action goes... if you don't like it, propose another one. Don't cry about mandating insurance being unconstitutional.... cry about the people who die without it. Don't scream about the price of the plan... scream about the tax money already going toward the uninsureds' crappy care in emergency rooms. And don't accept a system that sucks just because you fear the unknown. We are a country who makes changes for the better in the search for equality. Why would that stop at medicine?


Tuffy said...

You're a commie, socialist,and nazi!

This plan, while it will provide access to care to some in unprecedented ways, I worry will do more to raise costs for everything than much of anything else. I just don't see a way to do it without a single payer system like the other countries you mentioned. At the very least we needed a public option to provide some competition. Instead what we basically have achieved is a law saying everyone has to have health care, and provided the industry with untapped markets.

And that isn't Obama's fault. It's the opposition that used fear mongering and lies to oppose progress only because they hate the person behind it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tuffy- you are a commie and a socialist (not sure about the nazi part). And I agree with you -the system is broke. But this is just not the way to fix it, this is crazy expensive. No competition makes for one ugly monopoly game. Who wants the government and IRS in charge of anything more anyway? It just seems like there should be a better more cost effective way.
Actually you can see Russia from Alaska. :-)
Laura the Famous

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Mike - Is being a commie or a socialist really that bad? If they get health care when they need it, maybe I want to be those things! I do agree with you 100% though... I think single payer is the only way to go... but our narrow minded leaders just can't seem to get there.

Laura - I agree with you on some level, about the monopoly problem, although I think the government should take on AT&T's telephone monopoly and no one seems to care. But, I think the government could run health care, because the private world sure isn't cutting it. And, seeing Big Diomede, which sits in Russian territory, and Little Diomede which is Alaskan doesn't count. Plus, you only can on a clear day. Thanks to global warming, you don't get those very often. (I had to throw that in for Jacob's sake!!!)

Teresa Dawn said...

You can see Russia from Alaska, and not just the islands. You can see the Siberian mountains from places on the Alaskan mainland on a clear day. There is actually a live webcam set up that you can see them from on a good day (I have.)

Not that that makes a person an expert on what the Russians are doing... but it is possible. Meh, I'm not from US or Russia