Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cancer changes everything

Its funny how a cancer diagnosis can change your opinion of things. I am not taking a political stance here but I find it intriguing how some one who was so completely against health care reform, once diagnosed with cancer, is now one of its biggest supporters.

Spike Dolomite Ward, a columnist with the LA Times, was originally for Obama but then against health care reform. Then after having to choose between her mortgage and her health insurance, the house won, she was diagnosed with cancer. Because of health care reform, she was entitled to insurance under the preexisting condition clause. This changed her mind. I don't know Spike and I don't really care about the politics of health care reform.

I realize some people are upset about the idea of being forced to buy health insurance. I can understand that. No one wants to be forced to do anything. I also realize that some people don't want health care reform because they dislike Obama simply because of his politics. That attitude isn't one I am very comfortable with. Obama is president. He was elected by the majority. He signed the health care law as he said he would. You can't undo that so stop complaining. If you don't like him, don't vote for him. (This obstructionism in US politics is getting out of hand - don't let me get started). I don't really care about the politics of the situation. It is not about politics. It is about patients and people who are trying to pay their bills.

I am some what disappointed that it took a cancer diagnosis to make one person change their mind about health care reform. I think there is a lot of energy being wasted on the concept of health care reform and not enough energy being spent on using the benefits of it. Young adults in their 20's now can stay on their parents health insurance instead of going without insurance. Those with preexisting conditions now can get coverage. More preventive care is covered. I know taxes are going up as a result but they are always going up.

Health care reform is here to stay. I am not saying that the so called Obamacare will be the program that sticks with us. But health care in this country has and will continue to change. The system as it stands now is failing us. Insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Doctors and hospitals are being squeezed financially. Patients are choosing between feeding their families, saving their homes or paying health insurance. Medications and medical equipment costs are more and more expensive. Insurance companies claim they are being pinched as well.

Cancer changed one person's view of healthcare reform because she all of a sudden was the patient who needed insurance. This is the point. The system isn't working. People are going bankrupt and dying from lack of insurance. 

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