mimulus_borogove: (Default)
[personal profile] mimulus_borogove
I was pleased with the last American presidential debate. It was an interesting, lively format, and we heard some details we hadn't heard before.

Health care is a big issue for our family. Although we're all healthy right now (knock wood), we've had some big scares, and we know the value of good insurance.

When I was pregnant, I worked full-time and got truly fabulous health insurance. This was excellent stuff, covering things I didn't use, such as acupuncture and fertility treatment. I was especially grateful for it when our spontaneous twins decided to continue their trend of spontaneity by arriving eight weeks early (nine weeks, according to some calculations). The total hospital bill for the kids' first five weeks ran $945,000. That's just the hospital bill; it doesn't include the doctors' fees and radiology and breast pump rental and so forth.

$945,000. And I was getting good nutrition and prenatal care. Sure, I had gestational diabetes--a common complication of twin pregnancy--but it went away shortly after I gave birth. The kids themselves didn't actually develop any major problems. The majority of the time they lay there racking up the bills, it was just because they were too small and undeveloped to swallow, to survive without an incubator, and do those other things that full-term babies are born knowing to do.

We continued our insurance through COBRA as long as we could, and then applied for private insurance. Since we weren't planning to have any more kids, we applied for one with no maternity coverage.

We were denied coverage.

I called our insurance agent and asked why, and the agent told me it was because of the gestational diabetes and the premature births. The fact that we planned to have no more pregnancies didn't matter. The fact that we planned to have no more births didn't matter. The fact that my husband, our twins, and I were all healthy didn't matter. We were denied coverage.

So when the candidates talked about their plans, I was interested.

McCain's plan to give everyone $5,000 sounds nice. Who doesn't like money? But  he never mentioned how he'd make sure we did get coverage. I went to McCain's Web site this morning and read it through. I saw nothing there that would help us to get coverage if we were denied private insurance. And call me cynical, but it seems to me that $5,000 more for insurance for every family just sounds like a recipe for letting the insurance companies raise all premiums by $5,000 per family.

Obama said that everyone could keep their insurance if they liked it, but those who wished to do so could buy into a plan like the one he and McCain have as government employees. He specifically said that no one would go uninsured. No one. Not our family, who was denied coverage because of past pregnancy and birth complications. Not a former babysitter of ours, who couldn't get insured because of asthma. Obama's Web site backs this up. Under Obama's plan, no one would go uninsured at all.

Things have worked out for my family. My husband applied for membership in a professional organization that offered health insurance to all members, regardless of medical history. It's very expensive, but at least it's health insurance. We can afford the premiums.

Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has access, and not everyone has enough money. Obama's health care plan would protect those people as well as us. McCain's wouldn't.

Vote for health care for everyone. Vote for Obama.

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mimulus_borogove

March 2009

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