I watched CNN last night, and when the bill passed, I hooted and hollered. I'm so happy. I know. It's not the "done thing" to be happy about this legislation in "Christian Circles", is it? Well, it depends on who you ask. (Me being the left leaning pro-life political agnostic type who doesn't fit in anywhere and who can't bring herself to vote because all the candidates stink).
I don't understand why everything has to boil down to the abortion issue for conservatives. Yes, unborn lives are important, but so are born lives. What about the man I know who has lived with chronic knee pain (he needs surgery) for years, but because his condition is pre-existing since childhood, he can't afford to buy insurance to cover himself and get the surgery he needs? What about children who get sick and are hospitalized and then have a pre-existing, like kidney failure or liver failure or both, and then can't get insurance after that? What about my own daughter who has a very very expensive illness, for whom we cannot buy better health insurance than what her dad's work offers, because her illness is pre-existing? (Our out of pocket on meds each month would cover a premium for better insurance that would cover more).
What about us?
I have heard some say that this Bill is going to lead to many personal bankruptcies. I don't quite see how that's going to work, but still: What about the people who already have declared bankruptcy for whom medical expenses were a factor?
What about them?
People who have never lived without health insurance, or who don't have chronic illnesses, pre-existing conditions, etc. have no idea how stressful it is to not have that safety net. There's always this niggling panic in the back of your head: What if something happens that we can't afford?
I remember when the kids were younger and we did not have health insurance for a time. I was the most paranoid and cautious mom. I did not want them climbing on anything, jumping off of anything...I lived in utter fear that someone would break an arm or a leg and have to go to the emergency room. Thanks be to God that never happened. And thanks be to God, by the time Bethany got sick we DID have health insurance, so our costs were reduced.
But reduced is not gone. It's just reduced. And sometimes, on some drugs, reduced is still too much for a family budget.
I'm so happy for all the people who have the good sense to never get sick, and who are not afflicted in any way. I'm so happy for all the people whose own children are all glowing and healthy, who can worry about whether "their" dollars are going to fund someone else's immoral choices. Wouldn't that be nice if that's all we had to worry about?
But here's my take on it: I think this Bill is going to create an America in which fewer women choose abortions because they feel like it's a safer place to raise a child. Because they don't fear for their own health. Because they can go to the doctor when they are sick and not let whatever that ails them develop into something more serious.
See, this is the reality for millions and millions of Americans. Not being able to go and get a prescription for antibiotics when you have bronchitis. Not being able to go to the doctor for that chronic knee pain. Knowing you need thyroid medicine but not being able to afford to go to the doctor to get it because you lost your job and you don't have insurance.
I had a conversation with a friend once who has a very rare illness which is very expensive to treat. She said that she was rapidly approaching the lifetime maximum on their insurance. So after that, I asked: What then? "I guess I'll prepare to die", she said.
I see so much how much good these new laws can do. I'm just a bit glad.