Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rest in Peace, Ted Kennedy

I woke up at 5:15 a.m. this morning, looked at my iPod and saw an e-mail alert from NY Times that had been sent in the middle of the night - Senator Edward Kennedy had died at the age of 77.  He spent nearly 50 years in the Senate.

I am so sad.

With Obama's campaign platform focusing so strongly on healthcare reform, I really feel like we are on the verge of something huge.  Senator Kennedy would have pushed the issue, addressed the reality and helped us get to a place that I really believe we need to be.  He cared about the marginalized; those in our country that were standing with their backs up against the wall and couldn't find access to good healthcare.

When Bruce and I moved to Atlanta two years ago, I enrolled in the student healthcare plan and Bruce was hired full-time with benefits, but they were going to take four months to kick in (his benefits had lapsed from his previous job while he was in Africa - he had been covered by traveler's insurance but those lapsed when he returned to the United States).  During those four months, he got a VERY serious skin infection.  We didn't get it taken care of right away, not really sure what it was and unable to have insurance cover a checkup.  It didn't clear itself up and ended up spreading.  Bruce landed in the Emergency Room where he was put on IV antibiotics to stop the spread.  From there he had to see a specialist and was on two different oral medications until the infection was gone.  Between the ER, the doctors who saw him at the ER (billed separately), the specialist and all of the pharmacy bills - we were looking at $3,000 in medical bills.

My mom told me to use her credit card to pay for a majority of the bills and we set up a payment plan for the rest.

I don't know what we would have done if my mom hadn't helped us out.  But I do know one thing - Bruce's infection was extremely serious.  And it's unfortunate that we let our lack of healthcare options prevent it from getting it looked at earlier.

Can you imagine if we had a family, a mortgage and no parents to bail us out?

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.  It's a necessity, not a luxury.  I can only hope that the spirit of Senator Kennedy will come alive in our country's leaders as they work to create healthcare options that are affordable, accessible and sufficient for all.

Rest in Peace, Senator Kennedy.  God bless.  And thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you on the way that the health care system stinks right now. I do hope that things will get better! It's a shame that the regular middle class people like ourselves just can't seem to catch a break when there are many people out there who don't have to pay a dime because they live off the system. That is so aggravating to me.

    Well, you can tell that I feel strongly about this topic too. I am praying that a much needed change will come!


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