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Nov 5, 2012

This Is Personal! (Part 2)

Within a couple of hours we, along with her dad were sitting in a surgeon’s office discussing the test results, more surgery, treatment plans, prognosis, cost, etc., etc.  So you think your life can’t change in a matter of moments . . .  Thanks to The Mister’s job of over 30 years, we have great insurance, so cost was the least of our concern at that time.  To “consult” with the surgeon was nearly $800 for about 45 minutes.  We paid our $20 co-pay.   All I could think about was our previously picture perfect, healthy child was now going to be subjected to a whole range of tests, chemicals and discomforts that I could not protect her from.  As we left the cashier desk, I recall her saying something to the effect of, “She’s going to be fine; you all have great insurance!”  Ummm, I thought, “What does that mean?  What if we didn’t have great insurance?  Would My Baby Girl not be fine, then?”

Later, I discussed the test results with My Caboose – the one who wasn’t sure he was going to vote.  Needless to say he was shocked and saddened by the news.  I told him that indeed his sister would be fine and thankfully because of our insurance and Obamacare, she would be able to get the best care possible.   He asked, “What does Obamacare have to do with it?”  This gave me the opportunity to share with him the facts regarding how he and sibling are affected by being able to be carried on his dad’s insurance until they turn 26 as a important part of the Affordable Care Act.  We were able to discuss the what if’s of changing Presidents and how it would affect them.  Already, his older brother had aged off the plan.  What if this was a year from now and his sister had just turned 26 instead of 25?  What if Obamacare had never passed in the first place and it was him – a part time student and employee?  He said, “Oh Snap!  That is crazy.  What are we going to do?”  I said, “We’re going to pray and do our best with the information that we have or can get.  And I want you to watch the debate tonight with you and sister in mind – then you make your decision about voting.”  The next day after work he told me that he was voting and would be trying to get his friends to vote also.  Because now he could see how much of a difference one candidate vs the other could make in his own life and that of his sister on just one issue: Obamacare!

Caboose's 21st Birthday Celebration

My Firstborn, Caboose and Baby Girl

By now you might have reasonably guessed where I stand on this year’s election.  If not, here is my position which is based on several things but clearly the health care issue is front and center for me now.  I’ve always taken pride in taking care of my family, ensuring that they had everything they needed to be successful in life.  I’ve long stressed a healthy lifestyle from a spiritual, physical, mental, philosophical and intellectual point of ACTION!  However, none of these are entirely protective when it comes to a serious illness such as cancer.  As I have become more engaged with this year’s election cycle, it is clear to me which candidate most closely represents my views on how we are to care for each other in a collective manner during our time on earth.  Maybe it comes from growing up poor and Black in Alabama and Georgia.  Where someone or some organization was there to help my family when we needed it.  And likewise, we did the same when we were able.  This sense of bearing each others burden was stressed when I attended Catholic School and Church for seven years.  I’ve been the recipient of many blessings from individuals and yes, government programs during the early part of my life.  Now we’re in the position to pass some along to others because of what was given to us.  To whom much is given, much is required – Luke 12:48.

After watching all four debates, I’ll say this, “For the people who were so disappointed with President Obama performance during the first debate and “changed” their mind or made up their mind for the other candidate – I would rather VOTE for a man who had a “bad night”  but clearly has a heart for all people; than for a man who espouses a “bad policy” such as repealing Obamacare on his very first day in office.  At 37:23 minutes into the last debate, Mr. Romney once again says that this will be one of his priorities from day one.  He has repeated this over and over again during the campaign.  There have been few details on what Obamacare, (which was modeled after the Governor’s own plan in Massachusetts) would be replaced with.  I know it might sound good to so called fiscal conservatives and those who feel that 47% of Americans are losers and moochers and that they along have been responsible for their good station in life.  I say folly to the fools who refuse to see that we live in a collective society and when we truly do for the least of us by providing a healthy and safe environment (including great and accessible healthcare, education, housing and jobs), we have done it to the least of them! Matthew 25:40

As we have spent the past couple of weeks navigating this new and frightening world of Cancer, I know we are blessed to have what we have in terms of finances, insurance, family, friends and church members supporting us.   My flexible business schedule will allow me to be available to My Baby Girl.   How could I not want another mother to have what I have – to the extent that that is possible – even with the help the government by way of the Affordable Health Care Law.  Why should my daughter’s medication cost $1.28 when another mother may have to pay $12.97?  Why should my daughter be afforded a whole battery of tests and comforts when another mother’s daughter may have to wait hours on end to see a doctor?   Perhaps offered few alternatives or have to wait weeks, maybe longer to get treatment?  In my mind and heart, it shouldn’t be this way.  This is the United States of America and we should be UNITED to make sure that we have shared efforts and contributions so that we can have shared benefits and rewards.

All five members of my family have VOTED EARLY.  There were no group photo-ops but we got it done, one by one by three and two by two, we were present to represent our beliefs, right and privilege to take part in this tenant of American citizenship.  I encourage anyone who reads this, if you are a registered VOTER, please make the time to VOTE in this very important election.  Your child’s, grandchild’s or your own health and well-being may depend on its outcome.

 

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wife, mother, sister, friend. Business owner, writer, photographer. Yes, it's a lot but life is full of opportunites and we should take full advantage of them.
Scripture Memory Verse:
SMV: Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. Prov 16:3