I have worked for the same small (3-7 employees) company for 15 years now. There is no health insurance offered, never has been. I have many other perks for being an employee. When I was married, and my then husband had a job with health insurance (a rare occurence) we took advantage of it. It was like being normal when we had health coverage. It was a special treat. And when we didn’t it was like being sick and poor.
Now, poor is a state of mind. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the state of my bank account. For me being poor means being spiritually bankrupt, feeling and acting on depression, treating others without regard. I have been poor many, many times in my life. I grew up in a solidly middle class home, financially speaking. But my parents generation was raised by my grandparents generation which was the generation that lived thru the depression. So, as the trickle down effect hit me, I believed that there was never enough money to survive. This was a ridiculous idea. Both of my parents were professionals, both of my grandparents had retired from thriving companies and had the benefit of Medicare. They owned their own homes and had for their entire lives. I come from the typical American Dream (ok, stop laughing! At least on paper….)
And then there’s me. I do ok. I have three kids and I am now a single parent. I am not offered insurance thru my job. I have no way to get health insurance. I cannot afford private insurance. I have used the public health insurance option on and off during my adult life. And for those of you who haven’t, please shut the hell up. Don’t speak to me of your higher taxes…cause I will be paying them also. Don’t tell me that it’s the first sign of socialism, cause I would guess that public schools and mandated car insurance were the first signs.
Please do not assume I am some welfare mom who just doesn’t FEEL like working. I have worked and paid taxes all of my life. Consistently. I have never been unemployed. I have just never been employed by a company that offers health insurance. I own my own home, I pay my taxes which are higher than most because of the area I choose to live in. So, I contribute to this country. Why shouldn’t healthcare be my right? What makes the woman who works for a factory or the guy who is a state worker or a teacher for a school district better than me? Am I less than because I cannot afford 1257 dollars a month? It is the biggest stressor in my life.
If I don’t feel well, if I find a lump, then I get to die. Oh sure, I could go to the ER and say “I don’t feel well” or “I think I found a lump in my breast” and the ER will say “Ok, follow up with your physician” and charge me 1500.00 dollars. And when I call the Dr to say ” I don’t feel well” or ” I found a lump in my breast” they say “Who is your insurance carrier?” and when I say ” I don’t have one” they say ” Then we can’t help you” (because most Dr’s no longer accept self pay patients at all, unless you have been a patient ongoing and even then you have to pay upfront which is always between 70 and 140 dollars PLUS any tests). How come that is ok? I am a citizen, I pay my taxes, I vote, I love my kids, I work, and I can’t afford health insurance. That makes me eligible to die?
I didn’t ask for the circumstance I am in today. I did not purposely have three kids as a single mother. I am not asking to be taken care of by the government. I am saying that me, as well as hundreds of thousands of other citizens of America, who work and vote deserve health coverage. I have never said that people who cannot have children should not have them. They should just get over it and die childless. Just because I had no problem having kids does not mean that I think others who haven’t been as fertile don’t deserve to have kids. I do not subscribe to the idea of survival of the fittest. It doesn’t work in the world of the 21st century…so think up a new argument Glenn Beck.
Let’s review: I work, always have, I am not rich or even comfortable as far as money,I do own my own home, I have always paid all of my taxes, I make my life work on the income I do have, I am a single parent, If I get sick, I have no recourse, at all and if I die, there will be three children who are orphans, I did not ask for these circumstances, and I believe healthcare is a right not a privilege. And I am grateful for all that I do have. What argument can there be against ME? Because those of you who have debated this universal health care issue are simply saying that you do not believe that I deserve to live. Because you believe it will interfere with your tax status. How about Grandma? You pay for her healthcare without issue.
I am not looking for pity or a handout. I WORK, I PAY, I ALWAYS HAVE. I AM YOU minus the health coverage. And I PAY for Grandma’s health coverage…..not MY grandma, YOUR grandma. And I am fine with that. I will gladly pay an increase in my taxes, I am more than willing to pay for an affordable healthcare plan for myself and my children. But most of all, I am ready for a change. Even if this is not the perfect solution, it is on the way to being a solution. Remember Medicare Reform? Welfare Reform? Public School Reform? We have a long history of reforming our system to make it work. So get your panties out of a wad before you get hemorrhoids and have to go to the Dr…and Thank your God that you are not me.