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Health Insurance as a Priveledge, When It Should Be our Right

April 11, 2009

It took the Civil Rights Movement for the right to fair representation.  To be equal and not separate and the ability to be judged by our character and not our color. We have those who fight on the behalf of women’s rights to be separate by gender but equal in stature and recognized as such. We have managed to send people into space.  Had those even walk on the moon. We have fought and persevered and stood up against tyranny, and dictators and even fought wars that some believe were lost.  Just for us to get our back up against the wall, and succeed and claim victory when it came down to the very last hour.  So how is it thru everything we have endured we have so many individuals without the ability and chance to seek medical treatment based on the fact that they are unable to afford it?

A program in place that would allow those access to what everyone should have.  If we can’t take care of our own, how can we help any other country?  If we can’t fight for our own. How can we stand beside and fight with another country? If we can’t feed our own, insure our own, than we are not taking care of our own and that is a disservice to everyone who has and hold the belief that there are things worth fighting for.  And for me,  this is one of them.  There is no compromise on this for me because I know what it is like and see it first hand.   No one knows more than I how important health care is.  I fight this battle every single day and it is an insult that any elected official would think that this is something not worthy of attention.  I am blessed that I have the opportunity that so many do not have.  This august will be a year since I have been in the WTB here on bragg and I take nothing for granted.

Someone really miscalculated when they wrote that article because I really would like to know what elected officials hold the belief that health care isn’t important. Because I may have what so many don’t. But I will never forget those who don’t have.  Health care was the main reason I became involved in this back when I was on Taylor Marsh.  And the reason I found the Clinton campaign when I did.  I wanted what she outlined especially after listening to her Solutions for the Military speech right around the time of my first surgery. I hadn’t been out of the hospital for long but I went because I refused to miss it.

I will never forget that time because it was before I came here to the WTB and one of the low points in my military career. Reading a article like what is below infuriates me because if I would of read that during the time.  It would of truly devastated me because I didn’t have the strength back then to even fight for myself.  So to state that health care is basicly deemed “irrelevant” are fight ing words elected officials. Because right now, somewhere, someone may be going through what I went through. And one thing I hate is for someone to suffer in silence because they feel as if they have no voice.  I found mine through strength of will alone.  And I would gladly help others find theirs and if it means running over a couple of people in the process? Okay.

I may not know the logistics of what is needed but what I do know is that ideas, lead to plans, that create solutions.  What I find interesting is a point of view discussed in article on Fox titled: Growing Ranks of Uninsured Lack Political Power and a key quote:

If the uninsured were a political lobbying group, they’d have more members than AARP. The National Mall couldn’t hold them if they decided to march on Washington.

But going without health insurance is still seen as a personal issue, a misfortune for many and a choice for some. People who lose coverage often struggle alone instead of turning their frustration into political action.

And I agree. Health insurance is a personal issue.  But that does not change the fact that we should have some form or program in place that allows the individual who believes at the time it’s personal, the chance and opportunity to have it when it becomes a necessity. Health insurance is a choice. Just like attending any school or going to church. A choice.  But that doesn’t change the fact that those schools and churches  exist.  You may not attend, but they are in place.  Providing the tools and resources to ensure those that need it, have it, should be there right.  If we lived in a world where those that didn’t have insurance were turned away. If we lived in a world where you would have the same opportunities and chances afforded to you when it came to your health. Then yes, it could be viewed as a “option”.  But we don’t.  To have the utter sheer gall and audacity to provide safety nets to wall street and not health care for those on main street is something that is completely amazing.  But the article quoted above sheds light on that very fact:

The uninsured “do not provide political benefit for the aid you give them,” said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. “That’s one of the dilemmas in getting all this money. If I’m in Congress, and I help out farmers, they’ll help me out politically. But if I help out the uninsured, they are not likely to help members of Congress get re-elected.”

The number of uninsured has grown to an estimated 50 million people because of the recession. Even so, advocates in the halls of Congress are rarely the uninsured themselves. The most visible are groups that represent people who have insurance, usually union members and older people. In the last election, only 10 percent of registered voters said they were uninsured.

There lies the problem. Politics. Because these individuals lack political clout they are seen as unworthy of something so many take advantage of. And to me, it taps into a feeling that I have seen others express that were going thru medical treatment, the belief that they had nothing to offer.  Nothing to give. Feelings of being unworthy to be part of a society that when they looked at them, all they could see what was wrong on the outside.  Maybe a missing arm or leg or damage to there face from shrapnel and twisted metal.  Scars and disfigurations where repeated surgeries were done to correct what some would see as a deficiency.  The embarrassment and shame that they feel because they came home a little different than the way they left.  Wanting to become productive and treated the same in a world that saw them as different. So when I hear someone state they can’t fight a battle because they only can say what is in it for them.

It’s time to remind yourself that one day it could be you. It could be you facing what 50 million people already have.  Health care may be a personal choice but ignoring these people exist is a civil issue a human rights issue.   These people need a help up not a hand out. But the resources available to them to be part of a country that takes care of there own. Who don’t just talk the talk in front of the right crowds by telling them what they want to hear.    We may have different means of saying the same thing but no matter what affiliation you have, you cannot deny that medical treatment should be a priority. Our first priority. We can provide government programs to help those who lost jobs but it means absolutely nothing if we can’t provide a program for medical insurance if they become sick to save there life.  This does not just affect our civilian counterparts but can effect us as well.  Elected officials have gotten above themselves if they believe this is a fight without any political capital. If they are thinking about politics when it comes to health care, there priorities are not right.

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