Intellectually I see health care reform being flushed down the toilet or worse yet thrown under the bus. Emotionally I want it to survive and with the public option. I was always told I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. Realistically, I know that won’t happen.
I have never encountered catastrophic medical bills, Yet, I recall vividly an incident over 20 years ago that I’ve never forgotten. A former colleague and friend had health insurance through our job. Yet, she still was left with staggering six figure debts due to her daughter’s treatment for leukemia. Her daughter had been suffering with leukemia for several years. Her daughter ultimately succumbed to the disease. My friend and her husband were left with staggering debt to pay due to the unpaid portion by her health insurance. Her credit suffered in return. Then she received the job offer of a lifetime to help ease the pain. It was based on a conditional clearance. Due to her staggering debt and poor credit rating as a result, she was denied full clearance for her position. This was 20 years ago. Perhaps it wouldn’t happen today. But no one should face the death of a child, be left with staggering medical bills and face job obstacles due to their credit rating caused by it.
People relate to people’s stories. I know I do. It’s not just about raising taxes, increased premiums and the sundry list of other things that forestalls health care reform. It’s about people’s lives. According to recent polls, Americans support health care reform. They just have differing opinions of what form it should take.
I have not been in contact with my colleague for many years. Yet I vividly recall her story today. I will never forget it. Please Mr. President do not give up on health care reform. Please tell the story.