Read this article:
Thirty-three days ago, my 22-year-old daughter had an eight-hour open heart surgery at one of the top cardiac care facilities in the world. On my employer's health insurance.
Thank you, President Obama.
Her Pandora's Box of problems began opening in September 2010. She worked full time, went to college part time. She was doing all the "get ahead" go-go-go moves conservatives love to laud—paying taxes, working, going to school—all the while keeping her regular cardiology check-ups. With a heart pumping in reverse, a pacemaker, strong beta-blockers, an internal cardio-defibrillator, and a terrific cardiologist specializing in adults with congenital heart defects, she was able to function at a level that made her indistinguishable on the surface from any other young adult.But then a cascade began, a not uncommon one with her correction. Tachycardia, fibrillation, fatigue, dizziness. Treadmill tests, catheterizations, ablations, electo-physiological studies. A couple of months were spent trying to pin down what turned out to be two separate issues. Months and months ensued of failed mild interventions, further diagnostics, tweaks, all trying to avoid a risky open heart surgery that would remove all the device leads that had become embedded over the years in her heart wall tissue and her mitral valve, obstructing flow and triggering heart rhythms in excess of 250 beats per minute. Multiple firings of her ICD left her shaky and weak with one foot planted in the land of PTSD.
While she was insured as an adult through work, it was not an ideal plan for someone with her condition—high deductibles, high co-pays, high out-of-pocket on a salary set right at living wage. Her employer hires lots of young, healthy adults and for those workers, it serves. For my daughter, not so much. Until Obamacare, it was the best she could do. My employer, on the other hand, had a great insurance plan. The moment adult children under 26 became eligible, I moved her onto my insurance, and with zest and thankful prayers, I paid the extra premium. Just in time, as it turns out, for the downward spiral of hospitalizations.
You want to know what it's like to hear your daughter is at high risk for something called sudden cardiac death syndrome? No, you don't. Really.
Now send that article to everyone you know.
On a personal note, I'm truly terrified that SCOTUS will overturn ACA. As some of you know, I have a pituitary adenoma (microprolactinoma, to be precise; I've written about it here.) Why am I terrified? Because I will have to get brain surgery this summer before my COBRA runs out because once it does, I will be uninsurable. I'm stockpiling what meds I can because I won't be able to afford them once my COBRA runs out. I obviously can't stockpile my hormone therapy drugs, so after my COBRA runs out, it's either surgery (which may or may not be necessary and may or may not work) or a life of mood swings and feeling like a shitty friend because I literally can't be around people -- even those I love -- most days because this little fucker in my head has changed my personality and turned me into a hermit. I often joke to my mother that I'm the black female Ted Kaczynski.
It's not right. It's not fair. This can't be what we are as a country, because if it is? That's fucked up.
[via Daily Kos]
***You can help my friend Natalie pay for her treatment. Any amount you can give is much appreciated, and will go a long way to helping her kick cancer in the face. Have a dollar? Donate a dollar.