>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

because i don't think of politics all the time nor do i keep up with the political world all the time, the potential impact of ted kennedy's death never occurred to me. i feel silly admitting that. it just never occurred to me. what was in my mind was that it was a sad event and the end of an era. that's it. and really i only know of the concept of that era. i'm not old enough to have been around in the days of the kennedy prominence and greatness. i do remember when JFK Jr. died, it occurred while kelley was being born. i also remember when jackie onassis died, which now means more to me as she died of non-hodgkin's lymphoma. so even though i'm not old enough to know the legacy, the legacy has found it's way into my life in ways that i will never forget. so again, ted kennedy's death touched me and i thought no further.

that is until he was replaced. i don't need to explain why this stands out as important. you already know. now i realize the full impact. it upsets me, however, i can do nothing about it. except think and share my thoughts, as i've done before on the subject of health care. health care. it's something that i can't get away from. i've left the career field but the experiences and knowledge remain with me. the good, the bad, the people, the business, the inner workings. all of it...stuck. then the personal experience, being on the other end. having a diagnosis that will remain with me forever and will go on my permanent record. even if the disease is gone, it leaves it's mark physically, mentally, and again on my permanent record. all of it...stuck.

i woke up the other night with such strong feelings that i needed to pray for our country. the people in charge. the people, like me, who are not in charge. not knowing exactly why i was called to prayer. but i prayed. after that i was restless, i was thinking about politics. health care reform. and how it's inevitably and likely going to be...stuck. i wasn't able to fall back to sleep.

since then i've wondered why do i care so much? i am not one of the uninsured. i have private insurance and medicare. i've heard so many voices against reform, so they don't care unless it changes. i've heard that people who don't have insurance are not in need, they simply don't want it. if only those people knew what i know...but they'd never listen. so why do i care? are there actually people in our country who would desperately give to be insured but can't be? yes, there are. and so i guess that is why i care.

i've seen uninsured people denied care and they've died. i've seen people fall through the cracks and they've died. i've seen insured people lose their insurance because they got sick and they've died. but i guess that doesn't matter to so many who think things are just fine. things are just fine for me too. but i also know that my private insurance can dump me at any point because i got sick. it happens and there's nothing to stop them. i'd likely never get insurance coverage again because i have a pre-existing condition...on my permanent record. fortunately i still would have my coverage with medicare. the government run insurance program. the same one that most people gladly accept when they reach retirement age. even if they don't believe in government health programs. that's so ironic to me.

some have said that they don't want their great private insurance to change or cost more money, even if it meant everyone could be covered, and that is why they are against health care reform. wow. and i'm the one losing sleep. but i bet they don't realize how easily that great insurance could be lost. and how impossible it could be to find new insurance. people get sick. all the time. i've met enough people to know that non-hodgkin's lymphoma does not discriminate and it's considered a rare cancer. with each day everyone ages and the odds are really against us when it comes to becoming ill. heck, you don't even have to be sick to become uninsurable...i just found out that babies who are born prematurely get that put on their permanent record. yep, being a preemie can be considered a pre-existing condition.

so i ask myself why do i care? maybe it's the nurse experience. or maybe it's the cancer experience. or maybe it's just the bleeding heart liberal ways i have. whatever the reason, i care. not just about myself or just about my family or even just about the people i know, but for the unknown too. i try to rationalize my way out of caring and i realize i can't, i'm stuck. and with the passing of ted kennedy, any possibility of a feasible, realistic and workable way to health care reform is likely stuck too. am i the only one who cares? does this bother any one else?


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