My Virtual Soapbox

My friend has started selling shirts at Cafe Press. The inscription reads "My Health Care Plan: Marry Canadian."

I thinks its pretty darn funny. And appropriate. I know many people that are too sick or too poor and rely on Medicaid for their health care. I know people who don't qualify for Medicaid but have to make a choice between food, mortgage, and health care (gee, I wonder what they choose?).

My youngest niece was born two months early with a heart defect. She spent two months in the NICU. Thankfully, Medicaid covered what my sister's low hourly wage couldn't. But my mother had to quit her job to take care of her. My sister couldn't quit her job, because she carries the health insurance. So essentially my mother - mid 50's, breast cancer survivor - goes without health care or the guarantee of a secure retirement so my niece can see the cardiologists and neonatalogists that keep her alive. This isn't a choice that my family members, or anyone, should have to make. And if the Minnesota governor, in his infinite wisdom, decides to discontinue the Medicaid program that provides most of my niece's care, what then?

All I can hope is that meaningful health care reform is passed next year. The fate of so many people I love depend on it. I hope that forward sightedness and compassion can overcome greed and fear and division. The caption at the top of my friend's site reads "Don't count on Congress to reform your health care options. This is the only good health care plan for Americans." He's always been kind of a pessimist when it comes to the positive abilities of government. I hope for my niece's sake he's wrong.

Health, and Health Care is a right, not a privilege. Virtual Soapbox Over.


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