As most of you reading this probably know, the current political climate in this country is messy at best. With the repeal of Obamacare failing, I thought it may be interesting to share how my perspective on public funding and healthcare has shifted.
It’s funny how, until you’re faced with the reality of the need for things like public healthcare / public funding, it’s so easy to dismiss it. I don’t blame anyone who feels this way; I was the same way prior to having Regan. I’ve been blessed in my life to not only always have insurance, but also have insurance with relatively low (or no) deductible, making any decision relative to my health easy. My family and I have also worked hard to have such luxuries. It’s not as if it came without cost or employment, but it has been a blessing nonetheless. This became especially important once I became pregnant with Regan. In the blink of an eye, I went from having a handful of few standard doctor appointments to going to doctors across the state of Pennsylvania a minimum of once a week. I don’t even want to know what it would have cost us out of pocket without the gift of excellent health insurance. These doctors’ visits were not only medically necessary, but gave me peace of mind every time I was able to see that sweet little nugget growing and knowing that her heart condition was being closely monitored. I never imagined I would value the healthcare industry as much as I have in the past year.
Once Regan arrived, my appreciation grew exponentially. Regan is now covered under both our private insurance and Medicaid. This allows us to see doctors we choose and Medicaid covers additional copays and expenses not covered by our primary insurance. I consider myself to be fiscally conservative/politically moderate, and prior to these experiences I wasn’t the biggest fan of the new healthcare act. I’m certainly not saying it’s perfect now, but Regan has once again taught me a new lesson in life.
Under certain versions of the proposed healthcare bill (I’m pretty sure it’s changed a zillion times now), Medicaid would have lifetime caps. This means that Regan would be limited in how much funding she received from Medicaid over the course of her lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for financial responsibility in this country, but I’m just thinking maybe there should be consideration for those who may not be able to care for themselves. Regan’s need for healthcare will not change over the course of her life. In fact, Down syndrome people have higher likelihoods of a LOT of things (leukemia, Alzheimer’s, heart defects, autism diagnoses, vision problems, ENT issues, etc.). It was easy for me to have a different (somewhat selfish) perspective on healthcare prior to Regan opening my eyes about the world outside of my life, free of major health complications. My compassion has grown tenfold for those who need help caring for themselves. There may come a day when Mitch and I aren’t around, that Regan will need to be sure that she has adequate financing and health coverage to take care of herself. That forces me to realize she’s not the only person in this country facing that possibility. So my advocacy for her and others like her starts now.
I’ve taken steps to write and call my local senators to implore them to keep folks like Regan in mind when they vote for our national healthcare laws. I hope that our story gives them new perspective in the same way that having Regan gave me new compassion.
She’s changing the world, y’all! One perspective at a time.