An open letter on health care

I graduated first in my high school class, made it through college in 3 1/2 years, and went directly into graduate school which I graduated. I am a published poet, playwright, and essayist. And in my job that pays the bills, I work with disabled children.  I have worked full or part-time since I was 19.

I vote. I volunteer. I try to make the world a better place.

And I’m scared to death.

If Obama care or the healthcare changes are repealed or amended, so many people will be harmed.

Backstory (aka how Obamacare saved me)

At 25 I was diagnosis and treated for cancer.

I had just left an abusive relationship and quit my job ( I worked in the banking industry which I did not ethically believe in and which with leaving a mentally abusive relationship, could not preform my job function.) Because of Obama care I was able to stay on my parents insurance. And I am still able to get insurance. The surgery cost over 50k. I don’t have that much in saving. I would have gone bankrupt. My financial history would be ruined because I had the audacity to become ill.

I wish I could describe to you what feelings run through you when you are faced with a life threatening illness, the fear and pain, the guilt for having people take care of you, the pain of the treatments, all of it.  And moving on, putting your life back together after month (or years of uncertainty), but there isn’t any way to tell make you understand how hard it is, and honestly I hope you never know.

The fact is people don’t ask to get sick ( I was a former college athlete, didn’t drink or smoked, worked out, had no family history, etc….) and after blaming myself, I asked the doctor what caused it. He said the only common trait in most people, was that they were young otherwise health woman with  no history. Lucky me right!?!

And while you are fighting for you life, while afterwards, when trying to get your life together, the last thing you need is to worry about healthcare costs.

But the fact as is, as long as health care is a business, I will be seen as a liability, as someone who already cost the company. I will be define by the worst moment of my life. And I will be punished for it.

People don’t have a choice in healthcare, not for a lot of things. You treat it, or you die. Keeping it privatized just creates a circle.

Can’t afford rates, no insure. Why are rates going up?…The uninsured.

That isn’t going to change unless we look at healthcare not as a business, look at people and not the bottom-line.

I know in my work I make the world a better place. I care for children that are hard to care for. I help them grow. In my art, I illuminate the world. I deserve the chance to do this.

As does everybody.

People, are what matter not profits.

Who is anyone to tell us our lives aren’t worth something because we are sick? Or that because we can’t afford the outrageous healthcare cost, that we should die.

How much would be lost? How much has been lost?

I’m not saying Obama care is perfect, actually I don’t think it goes far enough, but it is a step in the right direction, and as a society we need to look at what matters, people or profits.

On a personal note, this is hard for me to share. My health problem is something I prefer not to relive or share, but I can’t in good conscious say nothing while other people may get screwed.  And I’m sorry that it isn’t something better written, but frankly in regards to this topic, I always find myself at a lose for words.

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

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