Monday, November 23, 2009


If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, my family is going to be eating oranges. I don’t need the doctor to pass by my door because we can’t afford health insurance. Healthcare is what we need right now and now that option sits outside our reach. For years we carried insurance to protect us from any catastrophic event. We went to bed knowing if that discolored mole on my arm turned out to be a melanoma we could deal with it. Luckily it wasn’t. If Rick ran over his glasses with a rented bike when we were pedaling through the park in Rome they could be replaced, and they were. If something really horrible happened to one of us our family doctors would be there to help us. This was our security and it lasted until we really needed it.
When Rick became ill and fell into a clinical depression our world fell apart and when it fell apart our ability to keep our insurance evaporated with it. When we needed healthcare the most our insurance was no longer something we could affordable and we lost it with so many other aspects of our former life that we had taken for granted. We had spent thirty years of paying into a system and now we had nothing to show for it. Now we have to worry about how Rick can get a new pair of glasses so he can see the menu he can barely read. I have to find a way to renew my beta-blocker prescription before my last refill runs out in the next sixty days. Emmy’s crooked eyeteeth will have to wait for braces until we can find a way to finance an orthodontist. None of us can see a therapist when seeing a therapist is a necessity for finding our way back to normalcy. We have gone to the available sources for free care but we either don’t qualify or we can’t prove our eligibility. We’re that middle group of people too rich to qualify and too poor to pay.
When a room full of one hundred fully insured senators can’t find the humanity in making sure everyone has the same safety net to fall on when they need it, is a dark mark on our American brotherhood. It is our responsibility to be our brother’s keeper and stretch out a helping hand when it is needed. I had no idea how much we took for granted when we were all healthy and fully covered.
We need universal healthcare. No one should have to live in fear of what could result from as small an illness as a common cold or the flu.

Never take your health or your families health for granted.

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