The fight for health care gets personal, part 2

July 20, 2009

I was 19 when I had my first child. Normal pregnancy, great OB/GYN, great hospital, no insurance. At the time, the hospital charged a flat $1,00. I think the dr. was $600. We made payments to both and were paid in full by delivery. It wasn’t easy, but my mom helped out.

Almost 4 years later, a different state, a small town doctor and hospital, we still had no insurance. As in the first case, too much money to be on Medicaid, and there was no maternity rider on the insurance. Doctor out of town when I went into labor, hospital couldn’t find him, so someone else wasl called in. He had no idea about the type of block I was having and instead shot me up with Demerol and attempted to put a gas mask on . All the time, I’m thinking how barbaric this situation is, and how I should have gone to a nearby city. You don’t know how many times I’ve relived that.

My son was purple and when I asked the doctor, he just said that it was cold in the delivery room and that’s why he was purple. Less than an hour later, they were rusing him by ambulance to the hospital I should have gone to, because he had underdeveloped lungs and was struggling to breathe. They knew he was 3 weeks early, how could they have so cavalierly stated he was just cold? I went to the smaller hospital, the small town doctor, because I had no insurance and because everyone has healthy babies, right?

Fortunately, my son was stubborn, and after 13 days in NICU, was released to go home. A hospital bill of $14,000+ which was 30 years ago. That was almost equal to what his dad made in a year.

Why should a parent have to sacrifice care because of lack of insurance? Why should a child be denied excellent care because their parents make too much to qualify for assistance, but too little to afford insurance?

Pre-existing conditions? State Farm would not cover any repiratory illness for my youngest son for, I believe, the first year of the policy. This was well after he had started school, and had pneumonia three times, and bronchitis twice.

This health care reform is one of the most important policies that will be faced in our lifetimes. When an opposing party is claiming this will be Obama’s Waterloo, I wonder how out of touch he is? What would he do without his government benefits? Without the money he gets from lobbyists. What a pompous ass to make such a proud proclamation.

Say that it’s Obama’s Waterloo to a mother or father as they have to decide which medicine to purchase for their child because they can’t afford both. Tell that to the elderly person who decides to take only a half of their dosage because they can’t afford to purchase it as regularly as their doctor recommends. Tell that to the woman who doesn’t get a mammogram because she can’t afford to take off work and can’t afford to be sick if anything does show up.

You can take my two stories and multiply them by 47,000,000 – much more bleak than mine, and maybe you have a similar story. Please feel free to share. We are faceless victims to policymakers, and that needs to stop. Our stories need to be told. The time for real health care reform is now.

We can, but people have to buck up and stop being afraid of the bs that’s being dangled in front of them.


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