Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare Reform? Why I Care...

As I sit here watching the US House of Representatives pass the historic Health Care reform bill, I can't help but be flooded with memories of a time over a decade ago when my Mother made a fateful choice - that she just couldn't afford health care insurance.  She had stopped smoking 6 years before, but even then the insurance rates were just too high for a single Mother to afford for herself, so she chose to go without.  For months she had ignored the symptoms, afraid of the medical costs.  By the time she went to the doctor her Lung Cancer was very advanced and she was fighting for her life, literally days from death, warned her doctors.  We brought her back from the edge, but her medical bills were astronomical.    She'd done the right thing, she'd quit smoking years before, but still she faced a losing battle with Advanced Lung Cancer.

I know I've eluded to the loss of my mother before in posts, for those that know me personally, you know how special she was to me and how much even now, more than 12 years later, I miss her as if I lost her yesterday.  I find it hard to share much about the experience with people because really, it was a beautiful experience and that is hard to explain that to people.   I was given a gift that most daughters don't have... I was able to dedicate 11 months of my life to taking care of her, what feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what she did for me over 19 years.  She's indirectly the main reason why I started this blog.  Being a Mom is one of the most wonderful things in the world and the loss of my Mother strengthens my passion to inspire other Moms to appreciate the little moments with their children.

So as I sit watching the votes come in, I can't help but hope this is what is right for the country and that it will give people access to healthcare that otherwise wouldn't have.  And no, I'm not really weighing in on either "side" because I'm an Independent, and have been for years.  (I don't fall in to either the Republican or Democrat categories, I actually never have.)  I'm just a busy working wife and Mom of two that hasn't had time to research this bill, all I can do is sit back and hope that it helps other Mothers not face the tough choice my Mother faced years ago.  Whichever side you're on, let's all just work together to make it work instead of being caught up in who wins.


Unknown March 22, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

I think your hopes are shared by all Americans - including the people that voted last night. I question how the bill was rushed through - what happened to the Obama pledge to post legislation on the interenet for all to see before it was voted on? Why was a complete take over of Student lending by the government tacked on to this legislation? Why is the IRS being assigned the duty of enforcing this legislation about health care? I, too, lost my father to cancer and even though he was insured the cost to the family was nearly $100,000 of co-payments. He also delayed going for treatment because he felt hospitals were where you went to die. His delay proved him right. I glad you had the extra time with your mom and I hope this new system will work out in the long run. I'm just scared of the amount of intrusion in our private lives it gives to the government. My best to you

Lin March 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

I completely agree with you & hope that this is what's best for all of us. I'm sorry about your mom, thank you for sharing.

Tami,  March 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

Beautiful post Katie. Your mom is smiling an extra grin today knowing you wrote this.

Tiny Oranges March 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Beautiful post, thank you for sharing something so personal. Your mom would be proud of you!

She's Cookin' March 22, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

Thanks for sharing a most heartfelt post, Katie. Although I have ambivalent feelings about how the bill was altered and ultimately passed, I know how frightening not having insurance and facing a life-threatening disease is. Change is very difficult and is met with much resistance, but I'm hoping that over the years this initial health reform bill will honed to be the insurance that all Americans deserve.

The Chocolate Lady March 23, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

As a mom who is saddled with 6 figures in medical debt, I would love it if this bill helped the state of our health care in the US.

But as the mom of a 9 year old, who went through 3.5 years of experimental cancer treatments, I fear the govt controlling our medical industry. I am certain that the expensive treatments that saved his life, would not have been an option under a govt system. I may have a lot of debt, but I have my son.

I hope that we can work out something that is in everyone's best interest, and that can be voted on in an honest manner, without manipulation and grand standing.

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