I am about to dust off my soapbox, the one I try to keep away from this blog in favor of stories about the ultimate truth as seen by my children. With a government shutdown looming in the US over an issue that shakes my core, I can no longer swallow my words. I promise not to mind if you scroll on past to preserve your image of me as a mommy blogger, but if you stay I hope you read until the end.
My knee-jerk reaction, complete with unfair leaps of logic based on feelings outside of facts, is that anti-Obamacare people want us to fall into a survival of the fittest behavior model, a model that would make it impossible for the three people I love most to survive. I told you it was reactionary, but here are the driving forces behind this reaction.
1. Children sometimes have illnesses
My husband and I spent 100% of our life savings and then twice that much on credit cards during a two-year period where oldest, husband and I all had crazy issues. We had insurance, but sometimes insurance companies suck. At one point, because of Twinkle’s preexisting condition and my husband’s preexisting condition, I switched jobs and paid over $2,500 a month towards their medical costs. I did this until we were on the new plan for 6-months, at which point they were finally allowed to receive services for their conditions. Then she was covered, but husband wasn’t because
2. Mental Illness is as real as any other illness, but health insurance companies get around the mental health parity law
In 2004 I worked for the mental health association in Illinois during the mental health parity debates. The good guys won, mental health parity is a thing, but the guys with the most money can pay their way around following the law. There were times my family spent over $500 out of pocket every month on mental health medication and doctor visits, in addition to high premiums, even though we had health insurance. I had to leave one job and find a new one because
3. Health insurance being tied to employers means that I can never chose a job based on what I want to do with my life, instead I have to scope out benefits plans and make sure that my family’s very real needs will be covered through the insurance. This is especially important because
4. Until Obamacare was enacted companies that offer insurance directly to clients could refuse clients for any reason, but nearly always rejected people with preexisting conditions.
We tried to get supplemental insurance for our daughter. We tried to buy insurance outside of the workplace because my coverage did nothing for her illness. We were told that she would not qualify for insurance coverage until age 11, and only then if she was hospitalization free for at least 5 years. Thank you, President Obama, for making that practice illegal.
There it is, the four personal reasons why I find all arguments against health insurance reform repugnant and react to them as a personal attack on my family. I know they aren’t, and I know people on the other side of the fence feel with as much passion as I do about this legislation. If I put on my political science hat I could give well documented, sensible arguments for universal coverage. If I put on my social service hat I could give a passionate plea about collective good. But here, on this blog, I wear the hat of a mom to a child who had thrombocytosis and immunoglobulin deficiency, the hat of a mom to a child with chronic asthma, the hat of a wife to a wonderful man with bipolar, and the hat of a person tired of making every damn decision about my career path based on if my decision to follow my heart would selfishly put my family at risk.