For those of us who have the opportunity to blog (and read blogs), as well as the finances to have a computer and, probably, high-speed Internet connections to assist us, health care isn’t a worry.
Maybe our health insurance policies aren’t perfect — ours certainly isn’t — but we have it and can see the doctor or go to the hospital, if necessary, without worrying whether we’ll go bankrupt or have to come up with other solutions to pay those bills.
I am thankful everyday that my health insurance will cover my annual mammogram, Pap test and flu shots, just to name a few minor things. Millions don’t have access to these “luxuries.”
I have to assume that people who oppose the notion of universal health care think that those who are without it, or who might lose it, aren’t the responsible kind. Or they’ve made the decision that they’d rather spend their money on other things.
Just not the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of people.
I’d like those critics to meet my parents.
I’ve written about them before — my dad is a farmer and part-time school bus driver. My mom is a retired dental assistant, homemaker and obsessive quilt maker (that’s a compliment, Mom!)
My parents have worked incredibly hard all their lives to have their farm and provide for their family. For a time, my parents both worked more than one job to be able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table — trust me, there was nothing fancy going on at the NanJon farm at dinnertime.
At 71, I’d like to think that my dad could take it easy and just putter around the farm — raise a few cows and pigs, keep a few fields in hay. But he can’t.
He has to continue driving his school bus route so he can maintain their health insurance policy. If it weren’t for the group health insurance plan they have access to through the school district, he would have stopped the bus route a long time ago. The policies they might have access to, if you didn’t worry about a few pesky pre-existing conditions, are far too expensive for my parents to afford on a farmer’s income.
My dad is pretty spry, but there will come a time in the not too distant future when someone tells him he has to give up that bus route. He shouldn’t have to be doing it anyway, but as a small family farmer, he can’t get affordable health insurance any other way. I shudder to think what’s going to happen when they have to rely solely on Medicare and Medicaid.
My parents have used their bootstraps plenty to get through their lives, make a living, and raise a family. They’ve paid their taxes, had a son in the military, and raised three kids who are doing their part to be productive citizens. They’ve never taken a hand-out from anyone.
So my question for the nay-sayers is this — how can you say they don’t deserve decent health care at this point in their lives? There are no trust funds to count on and no oil reserves under the rocky field they call home.
When you think that there’s no need for a better health care plan in this country, I want you to travel to the NanJon farm and look my dad in the eye — the dad that ought to be more worried about his comfy recliner than getting up at the crack of dawn five days a week to schlep kids around the county on a lengthy bus route — and tell him that he and my mom haven’t done enough in their lives to deserve decent health care in their “retirement.”
Cross-posted from Health Care Days at MOMocrats.