Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On this day in history....a letter to my son

Dear Brody,

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the most incredible overhaul of health care reform ever attempted in our great country.

I've been supporting it since its inception, and the idea of it hit home to me when you were born.

One of the first things I worried about when you were born was how were we going to pay for your health care. What would happen if we got laid off and didn't have health care? What would happen when you were grown up and were denied health care because of your pre-existing conditions? What would happen when we reached the capped amount of care and you needed more care? How were we going to pay for a kidney transplant for you if we had no health insurance?

Well, now each of those worries is gone.

Because some very brave people in Washington listened to all of my emails and letters and phone calls. I talked about you to them. How your mom and dad were educated, working middle class people who had a son who needed a lot of surgeries and a lot of therapies and a lot of medication. And you always would be a high-risk person to insure. And how the medical bills were already forcing us to contemplate bankruptcy, because 20% of each $50,000 surgery, when you have 8 surgeries, is not anything a normal person can pay.

As of this morning, Brody, this is what you get.

You can be on our health insurance until you are 26 (instead of 23, like before)

You can never be barred from getting health insurance for your pre-existing conditions of tracheo-esophageal fistula, bilateral radial hypoplasia, having only one kidney, or Vacterl association. So if you need an operation to fix one of these things, to save your life, to get you a new kidney, an insurance company will not be able to say no to you.

There are no more caps on the insurance. As of yesterday, there was a $1 million cap on your health insurance. If you needed more than that, insurance would cover 0. I think we have used about $650,000 of that cap. If you got cancer, needed a transplant, or something else, and the costs were above that $1 million, there would be no more insurance, and no way for us to pay for your care. 

Before today, if you got sick, an insurer could just kick you off from coverage.

Not anymore. Now, you are insured. Period.

You still get to see your same and favorite doctors, like Dr. Jay and Dr. Furness.

Oh, and the deficit gets paid down by $138 billion over a decade. (I hope that number still seems like a lot when you read this).

I hope by the time you read this, there is even better health care and the notions of caps and bans for sick people are antiquated and maybe even illegal.

Brody, I voted for President Obama for you. And today is the day that so many of my worries are lessened. I hope these protections stay law forever and I pray we never have to use them.



Robyn said...

I voted for President Obama for you, too, Brody. And I will never forget that.

Christine said...

xoxo Robyn

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am very sad that it took so long for Brody to get what he needs, for all of us to get those things. It has taken sixty years to do what other countries did
long ago. Thanks, Chris.

Shannon said...

I am Canadian so I had no say in this but I am SO happy this has happened, finally!!!

Kimberly said...

your post made me teary. What a great change for you all!

SaRaH said...

Oh, I'm so proud to know you and o excited for the future. May I please link to this letter? It's beautiful.

Hez said...

Beautiful letter.

I really can not wrap my head around the idea that people, other humans are actually against this reform.

Yes we can :)