You know, I did really like President Obama's speech on healthcare, despite the interruption by Organized Stupid. I thought that the President seemed well-informed, intelligent, and caring. And that's a good thing. He seems to know about at least some of the abuses going on, and wants to stop them. Great.
The main thing I worried about after the speech was this simple little thing: Even if we manage to pass the bill he describes and even if those of us like me who desperately need to get to sign up for the public option (which isn't guaranteed because my employer does offer a junk insurance plan), we have to wait FOUR YEARS?!
I don't know about you, but I know people who can't wait that long. I might be lucky and survive for four years without an anaphylactic attack. The average anaphylactic reaction rate for an adult with food allergies who is careful is once every two years, but it's possible to go four.
How long can someone who's having diabetic attacks last? I know a guy who's having them now. He also has junk insurance that only covers emergencies, if he's lucky and they don't drop him for getting sick. I told my family about this, most of whom (mother-in-law, father-in-law, and my own dad) work or have worked im medicine. I also mentioned that I thought, though I wasn't sure, that diabetes is one of those things you do desperately need to get ahead of as soon as possible so you can control it.
They all agreed with me.
So even assuming the rosiest scenario possible, that the Republican opposition is all taken away by the Gods at the last minute and that the Democrats don't show their usual jellyfish spines and cave in to stupid conservatives' demands...none of this takes effect for four years.
Anyone else know someone who can't wait four years?
I'm sure there are people who can't wait that long. I'm also sure that the interim plans the President mentioned are far too expensive for those of us who desperately need help but can't afford it.
Does anyone know how many people will die, waiting for the healthcare reform they voted for?
Look, I'm not knocking the idea of reform or being hopeless. I think we have a real chance to pass this stuff. But I also think it's not enough. I'm afraid that I will die before it's passed.
Oh, sure, if I want to become homeless I could go to an emergency room with my next anaphylactic reaction. But since we already have enough debt as it is, I've actually considered just not telling my husband if I have one and my antihistamines don't work.
I really do think we need to work, in addition to working for the public option and doing all the good stuff that the Firedoglake affiliates tell us to, to make sure more of us don't die while we wait for the insurance reforms to kick in. I know I'm not the worst off person out there. I know far too many of us have died as it is waiting for health care reform.
Just something to think about. Push for the public option, sure. Also think about pushing for real coverage until it passes. We really do need it. We've waited long enough for it. And enough Americans have needlessly died already. I don't think we need to sacrifice more of them.
Thanks for reading. And until I return, please, y'all take care of each other. *
*The Rev. Welton Gaddy, State of Belief