Healthcare has been a hot button issue lately. There are complaints from the public about paying for the healthcare of random strangers. The owners of Hobby Lobby have complained that the law causes them to go against their morals. Papa John’s vented about the higher costs to the company because of the new requirements. Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey joined the fray, saying the plan is part of a fascist government. With less than a year until Obama’s universal healthcare act goes into effect, I have been thinking about what this overhaul means to me.
A few years ago I wasn’t really concerned about the future of healthcare in America. Why should I be? I wasn’t in dire need of health insurance as I was still covered by my parents’ plan. I saw no reason to worry about the future. I would cross that bridge when I got there.
My opinion drastically changed shortly before my 24th birthday. I got sick and I stayed sick. I spent countless hours visiting doctors but my illness remained a mystery. Little did I know that random patterns in my DNA would change not only my lifestyle but also my future. The disease that I carry in my genes may also affect any children I might one day bring into this world. I have celiac disease.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance have also been big in the news lately. Much of this is due to fad diets promising weight loss when gluten is removed from the diet. For those of us who actually suffer from the disease and allergy, this boon of information has been a godsend. However, until the laws catch up with the advertisers and corporations, I will not rest easy.
Celiac disease has a genetic factor. First generation descendants are highly likely to inherit celiac from a parent. Not every child of an afflicted parent will have the disease, so how can you tell? There is a very easy blood draw that can be performed on a newborn infant to help lead to the diagnosis. While not definitive, it can point out genetic markers that point to a gluten allergy. Infants who breastfeed are in the clear, but unfortunately infants who are bottle fed formula may run the risk of reactions as some formulas contain wheat products (seriously, just ask my mother about the search for formula that didn’t make me scream). So, what does this have to do with universal healthcare and me?
As a future parent with celiac disease, I want my children to be tested as soon as possible. No parent wants to feed a child food that can potentially be lethal. Gluten is essentially poison to a child with celiac disease. It causes stunted growth, horrible stomach pain, mood swings, and exhaustion. Food is supposed to be comforting and nourishing, I don’t want my child to feel sick all the time because of food that I am feeding him.
So herein lies the issue: prior to the passing of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, my desire to help my child would end up hurting him in the long-term. Should my child be diagnosed as celiac positive, he would fall into the category of having a pre-existing condition. Since he would have a pre-existing condition, when my child became an adult and applied for his own healthcare, the cost would be more expensive, or he could be denied altogether. That is a travesty that has been remedied thanks to Obama’s healthcare plan. With its passing, my child can no longer be denied healthcare because of a pre-existing condition such as celiac disease. Granted, it is still many years before this plan becomes completely finalized, but I can rest easier knowing there is a plan for all.
I understand that many people feel like Obama is now making them pay for other people’s health care, but thanks to our for-profit system, we were already paying for other people’s health care. Every premium goes to paying for the medical care of everyone enrolled in the same plan. Now, we will just be doing it on a much larger scale.
For those who are against universal healthcare on moral grounds, one must look at the big picture. Yes, birth control must be covered. Also covered are lifesaving treatments for women with breast cancer, babies with heart defects, men with congenital defects. Companies must look past what they disagree with in order to see the forest and not just the trees.
To those who don’t want to lose money by giving health insurance to employees I say one thing: flu epidemic. Seriously, I really do not want to go to your restaurant during a flu outbreak because you don’t want to have a profit loss over a flu shot. I am talking to you, Papa John’s. I would gladly and willingly pay more for my pizza to ensure that those who are sick stay out of the kitchen. “˜Nuff said.
Yes, everyone will be forced to have health care. Is it really that bad? What is the downside when a parent will no longer have to worry about paying for life-saving cancer treatment for their child? Why is it wrong for me to want to help my future children get the best start in life without hindering their future? Why should a corporation have the right to deny any human being a happy, healthy life? Thanks to Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act parents and children don’t have to worry anymore. Who can complain about that?
Greetings! I am Kait (InnatelyKait) and I am the newest addition to the Persephone team! I am a twenty-something, nerd, veterinary technician, photographer, gamer, and jill-of-all-trades. An English student extraordinaire and lover of art history, I also save small animals as a veterinary technician. In a past life (or career really) I was a nature photographer. I try to read and write for fun but that whole being a responsible adult thing gets in the way. Computer games and rampant procrastination keep me from being as awesome as I actually could be (but seriously… the world couldn’t hold all that awesome).