Tonight is Christmas, and so many families across the nation are celebrating family. Huddling close together amongst the many presents and gifts that have been given today. Indeed my family's Christmas started off pretty similar.
We started the day just as many do. Approaching my mid thirties with a baby and a six year old in the house, I woke bleary eyed and ready to watch my son open his gifts. Not a whole lot, my wife follows the three gift rule. (A nod to Jesus and his three gifts). But we tried to splurge to some degree.
We then gathered the family into the ole family truckster and headed to visit my wife's family for even more gift giving. My father in law this year literally went insane with gifts, a good fortune from the inheritance of his mom that passed this year.
All seemed well with the family, even my four month old who had just been diagnosed with RSV. She seemed like she had been on the mend, breathing better, eating better and just generally doing better.
I'll keep going beyond where I give total thanks to everyone who made sure my Christmas night has some peace to it.
You see, my family qualifies for Medicaid. So as my wife headed off to the ER tonight because my daughter was displaying distressing signs of RSV complications the only thing that was on my mind was her well being.
It was not the possibility of loosing my house over health care costs. It was not the possible looming debt that might be incurred should she be admitted. None of this entered my mind as we made the decision to send her to the ER. I cannot even fathom the thousands out there in this nation who loom with those decisions.
To go, or not to go?
Go and possibly face destitution and abject poverty, go to a certain destination of abject ruin just to save a life and yet ruin an entire family's?
So thank you to everyone who has paid taxes into the system, voted with their hearts, and fought to keep systems like this in place.
In my mind tonight, the greatest gift this season I have is that the only thing I have to worry about is the health of my daughter, and not the fallout from it.
I just hope this coming New Year, we can double down on efforts to expand this comfort to so many more Americans.
I likely might not be responding, I'm awaiting a call from the wife from the ER with an update.
8:48 PM PT: Quick update, baby girl is back from the ER and has been cleared to some degree. Regular treatment using albuterol and a Nebulizer, which has seemed to made large stride towards helping her breathe better.
Again, all of which would have seemed impossible had we not had some safety net in place, like Medicaid.
80 retail, something I don't think we could have afforded short of eating peanut butter and jelly for weeks on end, on top of a pay day loan, all assuaged by the fact that we have this system in place.
I pay into it, you pay into it, we all pay into it. We stand stand strong when we stand together. I just hope that come this new year, we can stand strong together and help to protect the programs that made my Christmas.
And keep it strong for the many days where thousands of other families face the same choices.