I’ve been listening to all the rhetoric, debate, diatribes, whatever you want to call it on the healthcare issue. I’ve listened to President Obama on the talk shows today, and I’ve listened to the counter-arguments espoused by the opposition afterwards. We’re hearing all sorts of opinions by a small handful of people who will be setting policy and making pronouncements that will affect all of us for a lifetime.
I would like to offer a different opinion, one from a handful of small people.
almost-16-y-o son has had Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (more than 5 joints) since he
was in kindergarten. Doctors think the trigger may have been a tooth infection
that settled in his joints and gave him infectious arthritis and that led to
rheumatoid. About 3-4 years ago, it progressed and he was rediagnosed as having
Psoriatic Arthritis (psoriasis on his skin) as well.
lucky that aggressive treatment began very early (chemo for 3 1/2 years) so he
doesn’t have the joint deformities or as much limit on his range of motion as
many of these kids. We realize though that this is a lifetime issue for him as he will never outgrow the disease,
and there’s no telling what may be thrown at him down the road health-wise or
insurance-wise, either as a result of the meds he must take or the continued
progression of the disease. So we fight … every day. He himself has been an
arthritis advocate since he was 8, in his words “using his voice for the
people who can’t use theirs” to fight arthritis in the young and old.
meds have cost more than $4000 a month for several years now, and I gave up my small business and went back
to work in Corporate America because I couldn’t obtain private insurance for
him at any price (i.e., NO ONE would cover him) and I made too much money for him to qualify for any
I’m none too different from other parents out there dealing with issues like this. I work. I pay taxes. I’ve never been in jail. I don’t do
drugs. I’ve never been on any assistance program and I don’t feel I’m owed a
“handout.” I have voted Republican, Democrat, and Independent in my lifetime. I
am pretty mainstream, middle American – fiscally conservative but socially
isn’t just about my son and me. There are more than 300,000 families out there
dealing with these same issues every day. They too have been up at 2 AM trying
to ease the pain and suffering of their children with arthritis, hoping the
pain meds will kick in soon, or at all. They too have watched as their little
“Tin Men and Women” have awakened in the morning barely able to move, sometimes with joints so swollen it’s frightening. They too have spent countless
hours in ERs, hospital rooms, and doctor’s offices waiting for pronouncements
and hoping that their insurance will cover this latest round of expenses
because if it doesn’t, the rest of the family will have to do without (fill in
the blank). They too have held on to crappy jobs because they needed to keep
the insurance for their child.
too realize that if we don’t have some kind of healthcare/insurance reform, all
the hours that we’ve spent agonizing over all these things will be for nothing
and we really will be the failures as parents that we’re so afraid we are
because we have once again NOT made it better for our kids and have passed
something else on to them – ever-increasing healthcare costs and insurance premiums,
ever-decreasing coverage and protection, and no true regard for the health and
well-being of Americans and our collective future.
So take a look at the 12 reasons in this video, and tell me what this debate is really about:
yet, explain it to all of the 300,000+ kids.
Which one of them do YOU think should have to do without the best healthcare possible?