I wasn't going to write about this because I know I won't get my words out right - especially since it's hard for me to even say how I feel about the passage of the Health Care Bill. Despite my best efforts though, I can't get it out of my mind, so here goes.
Overall, I think the passage of the Health Care Bill is a good thing.
Three years ago, I wouldn't have understood why it was necessary. I was working in a wealthy school system with fantastic, reasonably priced health insurance.
And then we moved.
And I got it.
I was self-employed and neither of The Man's employers offered health insurance benefits. We researched private health insurance and found that it was either cost-prohibitive OR did not cover pre-natal or childbirth. Or if it did, there was a five year waiting period. Or better yet, a cost-prohibitive additional premium each month.
Oh, and those wrist surgeries The Man had to have? Pre-existing conditions.
And what about federal or state programs? We made too much money.
It seemed like daily we had one of our parents telling us how we had to have health insurance. And daily, we smiled, nodded and thought to ourselves that we would love to have health insurance. But at what cost? Give up jobs we both loved? Sign-up for a plan that wouldn't meet our needs? Or sign-up for a plan we couldn't afford?
And then President Obama was elected. And there was a promise of health insurance reform.
And this weekend, that promise was realized.
Is the plan perfect? No.
Do I wish that instead of covering 'on demand' abortion there were procedures (real, useful programs for women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy) in effect to prevent abortion? Yes.
Do I wish Congressman Stupak had not caved? Yes.
Do I think we are better off today than we were on Friday? Yes.
Do I think a single-payer or government run plan is the best option? No.
Do I think the health insurance industry is corrupt and needs to be reined in? Yes.
I'm not asking for a handout. I'm not asking for free health care. I'm asking for fair access to health insurance for everyone. I'm asking that those who are in a position to make decisions truly consider the circumstances of those who are affected by the decisions.
What do I pray for the most? That instead of sticking their heads in the sand, those (in power and not) who feel that our health care/health insurance system is just fine truly step back, take a second look and realize just how bad it really is. And then do something about it. The first step was taken. Will we fold our arms and refuse to do the hard work or will we create a system that works for everyone?