Monday, March 22, 2010

Just So You Know...

...this is personal.

I, along with the majority of our nation, watched yesterday as our elected officials in the House of Representatives debated about and voted for the health care reform bill.

But for us, it wasn't about political positioning, yellow journalistic ramblings, lobbying to maintain a status quo, or public displays of disapproval.

It was personal.

Millions of people in this country have what is termed a pre-existing condition. This conglomerate mess of maladies varies from something relatively minor, such as an old sports injury, to an illness of great impact, such as heart disease or cancer.

Cancer, the mother lode of pre-existing conditions, affects roughly 11 million Americans.

And all people with von Hippel Lindau disease, regardless of the state of their health, fall under the category of "cancer."

So this need for reform was personal to our family.

Health insurance companies are not here to save lives. They are in the business of making profits, huge profits. People with cancer are a liability to insurance profits, a huge liability. And as of yesterday insurance companies routinely denied private health care plans to individuals with a cancer diagnosis.


Our sweet son is quickly approaching an age and stage in life which will prevent him from being covered under our employer-provided family plan. So I started testing the water, so to speak, of buying an individual health insurance plan for Steven. But despite my best efforts of searching for alternatives, he was routinely denied coverage by all health insurance companies that we contacted.


My sweet son was simply one year away from being uninsured.

With a pre-existing condition.

And a nasty brain tumor on his brain stem.

And spots on one kidney.

From Steven's perspective, and the personal situations of 11 million others, the need for health insurance reform was huge.

There are many resources right now that can explain the nuts and bolts of this plan. While I still think that the plan would be better with a public option, for my very sweet, personal reason, the bill that was passed yesterday is not the demonic creature that many are claiming.

It will not raise taxes for families that make under $250,000 per year.

It will not allow the IRS access to your personal bank accounts.

It will not allow the government to decide if you may receive treatment or if you should die.

It will not take precedence over a group health care plan that you already have.

All major changes are uncomfortable. Please stretch your comfort zone. Read a neutral analysis of the bill. Research your concerns from impartial sources. Stay informed from a source that doesn't include the letter "F", "O", "X", "B", "E", "C", or "K" in its name.



S.I.F. said...

Amazing! I think the people who are against this just don't see it from the perspective of the people it will help: people like your son and me. I live in fear every day of losing my insurance because it would be very difficult for me to get new coverage. This bill offers me hope that I can one day let go of that fear. I am so glad that it offers you the same hope!

Keli said...

I am so glad to hear someone else say they think this change is a good thing. My grand daughter (who is 19) had a heart and lung transplant just before she turned 11. Her parents were living in fear that when she turns 23 she would no longer be able to get insurance. Her meds would cost about $5,000 a month without insurance. I am hoping this change will make their lives easier too.

tumbleweedgirl said...

thank you for saying that. i have yet to say it. it is personal, though, and i think that's why people get upset. i just don't understand it.

for us, it means lia has a chance of coverage. for us, it also means that maybe our private insurance will not cost as much. i don't know.

but thank you for saying that. it's true.

megan said...

it is so important for people to understand what the health bill means for real people. thank you for posting this.


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