w00t #hcr

by tinglyfeeling on March 21, 2010

It looks like the health care reform bill is going to pass and it’s about effing time. I’m watching/listening to the live stream of the health care reform debate on C-SPAN right now–Pelosi has the floor, wrapping up a long day of speechifying and mudslinging.

For the Republicans who continue to bash the bill, STFU already. You keep saying that “Americans” don’t want this bill. Know what? I’m an American. And I want health reform.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  1. I have MS. (duh)
  2. My really expensive disease-modifying drugs are not covered on my employer’s prescription plan. Luckily, the drug manufacturer has provided my medication to me for free for the last two years. My time in that program is up in April, though, and I’m hoping they’ll reinstate me because my employer’s health plan still doesn’t cover my drugs.
  3. MRIs and other tests I have to get once a year to monitor whether the drugs are working/my MS has progressed, are really expensive. My employer’s plan only pays for 80% of those costs. I am in debt to some bank I’ve never heard of because the hospital only offers a three-month payment plan.
  4. Under the current health care and health insurance system, I would not be able to obtain health coverage on an individual plan because I have a pre-existing condition. Someday I might like to leave my job for something better. That might include being a freelance consultant, or working for a start-up with an uncertain future.  So I’m stuck in my current job unless something really, really stable comes along.

I know those are pretty personal, self-serving reasons, but my health is personal. (And as long as I’m with my current employer, reasons 2 and 3 probably won’t change anyway.)

I really want to be able to say that our country cares more about its people than money and profit. So far, that hasn’t appeared to be the case. It’s really disheartening to see all those tea baggers, Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks spreading lies and hateful rhetoric, claiming that they speak for the “American people.”

Maybe the vast majority of the American people have been lucky enough to avoid illness, unemployment and crippling debt caused by a family health crisis, but I doubt it. While we can say that everyone probably knows someone with MS, we can also say that we know someone who’s struggled with health costs, has been denied or lost individual coverage for some reason or has needed emergency care they couldn’t pay for. Living in Seattle, it’s no surprise that I’ve been to more than one benefit show for uninsured musicians who’ve found themselves in the hospital with no way to pay for it.

So, it is truly a historic day for our country. No, the bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a much-needed step in the right direction.

However, I am disappointed that President Obama compromised with non-uterus-having Bart Stupak on federal dollars being used for abortions in order to secure his vote. Last time I checked, abortion is still legal in this country.

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  • nikoel

    Not only is it legal, but it IS a part of health care. For that and a public option, we keep fighting. I am very glad that some form of health care reform passed and many more people will be helped by it, though there is still a lot more progress to be made.

  • Nikoel

    Not only is it legal, but it IS a part of health care. For that and a public option, we keep fighting. I am very glad that some form of health care reform passed and many more people will be helped by it, though there is still a lot more progress to be made.

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com tinglyfeeling

    Yeah, we'll keep fighting. A public option is a must–and abortion is legal and should be covered by insurance. Period.

    After the HCR decision came down last night, I received two emails. One from the Washington State Dems and one from NARAL Pro-choice America. The WSD email was all “WHOOOO! This is change we can believe in!! All our dreams have come true!!,” while the message from NARAL's Nancy Keenan was a lot more somber. Here's part of her message:

    “I am extremely disappointed to tell you that the final package includes the insulting, unworkable Nelson restriction on abortion coverage in the new system…

    …This unacceptable bureaucratic stigmatization could cause insurance carriers to stop covering abortion care. This would represent a major setback, given that more than 85 percent of private plans cover this care for women today.

    Despite this totally unacceptable anti-choice provision, reform will bring more than 30 million Americans into a system that includes affordable family-planning services and maternity care for women. It also outlaws some discriminatory insurance-industry practices that make health care more expensive for women. Improving women’s access to birth control and prenatal care and making reproductive-health care more affordable are also at the core of our mission….”

    So, they're looking at the silver lining, but this is a pretty major setback for women's reproductive rights. I'll forward you the whole message if you'd like.

    Thanks for reading, button. xo

  • nikoel

    I got that message too! I'm on way too many lists and NOW is one that is flat out pissed off. Looking at the bigger picture though, this reform helps women more than hurts them so overall it's a good. We just have to make sure no one starts getting complacent because the fight is long from over.

    And dammit, a public option is just plain vital!

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com tinglyfeeling

    word to the up, sister. i just read your response to your dad on facebook. i'm glad he listened to you, but i really wish he'd *understand* what you are saying enough to realize that health care and access to insurance is essential for everyone and that the passage of this bill benefits us all in the long-run.

    (also, your mom is having colon/intestinal issues right now and he still doesn't think they need health insurance??? WTF??!)

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