Raising Women’s Voices

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Raising Women’s Voices wants to hear your voice!

Post a personal healthcare story or problem, advice to others, or your hopes for healthcare reform in the Obama administration.

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  1. raisingwomensvoices08 said, on February 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

    On January 20, 1989, I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, meaning I am insulin-dependent. The date January 20, 1989 is one to make note of, because it’s also the date that George H.W. Bush was inaugurated president. Bush is not pro-choice, and in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, fetal tissue research was to science what stem cell research is today. So it was, in my family, a day of ironies.
    As the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation continually reminds us, insulin is a treatment for diabetes, not a cure. So I, from the age of four, have had what’s known in insurance circles as a “pre-existing condition”. With diabetes, like most other pre-existing conditions, insurance coverage is necessary at all times. Diabetes is what I call a “constant disease” in that there is no time off. Because it affects food and eating habits, diabetics are constantly aware of being diabetics. I take around eight blood tests a day, and before I started on the pump (more on that later) I gave myself up to four injections of insulin a day. All of this means that insurance and prescription coverage are a necessity.
    It’s as much for simplicity’s sake, as well as the fact that every individual deserves quality healthcare (remember that whole “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” bit? All of that’s kind of hard to achieve if you’re unhealthy) that I wish we had a single-payer program health.
    By single-payer, I mean a national approach, where healthcare providers are paid from one (governmental) source, making an even playing field for every citizen to get health coverage. In the United States, there is much controversy surrounding the single-payer system. Many people feel that health care needs to be reformed, but are actually satisfied with what they have. Others worry that their own coverage would deteriorate with one standard approach. And others, of course, worry about government having a hand in anything.
    Although I don’t fully understand either private-insurance or the nuances of what a single payer program entails, I am in support of single-player because of the equalizing factor. I have a pre-existing condition, why aren’t my rights the same as yours? If single-payer means anyone can go to the hospital when something’s wrong, that they’ll get taken care of, that they won’t have to debate what procedures they can afford, and that, if they can afford it, they won’t be guinea pigs for unnecessary tests or medicines that the US healthcare system seems to love, I’m for it.
    If it means I won’t be treated differently or have to work harder to figure out my costs and coverage than someone without diabetes, I’m for it.
    When I graduated from college, my parents kept me on COBRA which cost $700/month. Because I’m diabetic, they were willing to spend that much to ensure I had the best healthcare. But a few years later, still without coverage from an employer, they’re tired of paying that much. So now, because we do operate in a private-insurance society, comes the hard part of figuring out what coverage I can get that’s still affordable.
    To be continued…

    sara siegel


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