Sunday, March 21, 2010

It Is Passed! Health Care Reform Becomes Reality!

I just returned from the funeral of a friend's husband. He was just about the age of The Hubby, which gave me pause. Her kids, one about Little Man's age and the other a tiny guy still, have a long way to go before they are grown, and I cannot imagine the heartbreak she and her brood must be going through right now.

He had a severe illness. It was a terrible loss of a wonderful guy. Thankfully, my friend had health insurance, and was able to cover his treatments and meds, and not lose her home over the course of the disease. She has two beautiful kids; thankfully, they are covered, too, as they will surely have the coughs and colds, the bonks and bumps, and need the immunizations of childhood. A horrible tragedy, but there is the small blessing that it will not send her into bankruptcy or cause her to lose her home.

I am covered, too, through my work. It was one of the great reasons to join my profession, the ability to take care of my family by providing health care for them. The well-baby checkups, The Hubby's prostate exams, the x-rays to see if Little Man broke his arm (he did...), and Tweenie's checkup for her school trip: all covered. My two pregnancies, yearly pap/mammogram, and allergy meds, all covered, along with a myriad of other treatments, checkups and prescriptions, and will be as long as I have the job that I do. I am fortunate.

But there are so very many Americans who are not so fortunate. Women who have had to face the choice of keeping their homes or paying for treatment of their family members or themselves. Folks who face chronic disease and life-threatening illnesses and have no resources left with which to seek treatment. I cannot imagine watching The Hubby take ill and having no way to afford to make him well or get him the treatment he needs. I simply can't fathom watching my children suffer with chronic diseases, their allergies and asthma, the broken bones, for example, with no way to pay for meds they need. That awful truth for so many is so painful to consider that I can't bear to do so for long. 

Yet this has been the status-quo in our nation, the richest place on earth and the only industrialized country without universal health care for its people. And the Republican Party is content to keep it that way. They continue to spew their anti-health care propaganda up until the last possible moment. Lies, lies, damnedable lies, that discount the experiences of regular Americans.

But tonight, we will see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. History in the making, as they say. The Dems have actually been able to get our act together long enough to pull it off: 95% of Americans will have coverage. Affordable coverage.And so much more:

Historic legislation? Absolutely:
  • 95% of Americans covered by this bill - that's 32 million more Americans
  • Americans can change jobs without losing insurance
  • the self-employed able to afford insurance for their families
  • no preexisting conditions
  • improved prescription coverage for our elderly
  • no rescinding of policies when you are sick
  • more afordable insurance for the middle class
  • improved Medicare coverage and solvency
  • ...and 4 million jobs created
No longer will families be driven into bankruptcy or forced to choose between groceries and prescriptions.No longer will costs go through the roof because the uninsured are stuck using the e.r. as their primary care physicians. And trillions of dollars in savings over the next two decades. We have made it through the obstructionist gauntlet, and come out on the other end with life better off for the American people.

"Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition," says Madam Speaker. Being human and prone to illness is no longer a preexisting condition! And, glory hallelujah, we will no longer have to listen to Stu-pid Stupak! This will most assuredly be a day that goes down in history! 

And there it is...216! Ladies and gentlemen, it has passed. 219-212. Motion to recommit and we are home free...and it's passed! More Americans will be affected in a positive way by this Law than by anything in the past 50 years. Finally, it is done. And done by the Democrats at that!