I have amazing friends. This particular friend (I will call her R, in case she wants to stay anonymous) is a wonderful woman. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and fair. She is one of those people who looks at both sides of issues and seeks a solution that helps both sides. Today she weighed in so eloquently on the ACA [that is the Affordable Care Act — which others call Obama Care ] that I asked her permission to paste it into my blog. You see, what she has to say has value. It needs to be weighed along with all of the hollering on both sides of the aisle and issue. Here are her words. I love this lady.
“Every week, sometimes multiple times a week, I have to look a parent in the face whose child doesn’t have insurance, and say I’m very sorry but your sick or injured child that needs surgery or long hospital stay, or long term antibiotics at home, or diabetic supplies and medication did not qualify for Medicaid. Sometimes they are over income by just pennies…. Hard working people, business owners who couldn’t quality for insurance due to preexisting clauses, full time employes who make very little and their multi billion dollar making employer does not offer them medical benefits, parents who have medical or mental health problems of their own and are doing the best they can to scrape by, older siblings working full time to help pay for their sibs prescription that costs $900 a month for one vital medication. I’ve watched families literally scrape together change to pay for needed equipment, while they are in tears embarrassed over their situation. One months prescriptions for diabetes can easily be a thousand dollars. A few days hospital stay with an unexpected surgery can run you in the tens of thousands. Forget about your catastrophic diagnoses like cancer, if you are uninsured you may as well sell off everything you own, that is if you have anything to sell. The costs of the uninsured/uninsurable are already falling on the backs of the insured. Hospitals are writing off millions of dollars of bad business yearly. The costs are passed on to the the insured/the paying consumers of healthcare, by way of huge hikes in medical costs year over year. I am not a financial expert, nor a expert of the law. I am however a seasoned nurse, a concerned citizen and mother, and a believer in charity and government sponsored assistance for the poor, the frail and the sick–and even the well, who can at any moment become desperately sick. I am not naive enough to expect all to share my opinion. I do, however, wish that folks would take an opportunity to truly look at human lives that are impacted daily by these issues. This is not a political game.”
My friend possesses such wisdom. There has to be a way to keep all of this in mind and find a way to help people, beyond what has been done in the past. There has to be a way to do it AND allay/address the fears of those strongly opposed. No solution is perfect, but my friend is one of those on the front lines, and her insights have meaning to me. You see, there is no denying that medical expenses bankrupt many each year.
There is no denying that some of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act are financially burdensome for some people, too. There is much to sort out. There are aspects of the bill that are extremely worrisome and frightening for some people. Just as we cannot overlook what my friends said above, we cannot minimize or marginalize those that have concerns, either. There is much to holler about.
But keep my friends words in mind. She is a magnificent nurse—and she loves her patients with total devotion; she loves them beyond measure.