Monday, March 22, 2010

Feeling guilty. And happy. And guilty.

So, you know I rarely get political here. And when I do, I tend to lean a little to the left. But this health care bill scares the bejeebers out of me.

And yet...a tiny part of me is thrilled that it passed.

One of the worries that wakes me in the dead of night is what happens to Liam when he's no longer covered by our insurance? No insurance policy will cover him. What then? He needs open heart surgery every few years for the rest of his life or he will die. How will that get paid for? Will he die because we can't afford to pay for the surgery? How can this happen?

And then I hyperventilate for a few minutes, take an Excedrin PM and go back to sleep.

This health care bill--as horrible as I know it is--makes sure that people like Liam will be covered. And that's such a huge, huge relief to think about.

But then the guilt sets in, because why should you have to pay for my son's surgeries when he's an adult? Why should whatever insurance company he is covered by lose money over him? Insurance companies are private businesses. We have no right to dictate who or what they have to cover. We would never think of telling Wal-Mart they have to carry a certain product, even if it means they will lose money or have to charge higher prices on everything else. Why do we think it's O.K. to do that to insurance companies?

Someone said to me today, "but why is that any different than our tax dollars paying for his surgeries right now?" Well, let me tell you.

Right now we have a little bargain, you and I. Your tax dollars will pay for our housing and our medical care and our moving expenses and our salary, and in exchange, my husband will leave for a year at a time to the Middle East and have explosives lobbed at him daily in order to keep you safe and enjoying the freedoms you take for granted. It sounds like a fair deal to me.

But later, when Liam is no longer a military dependent, that bargain ends for him. And that's where the guilt (and yes, elation) comes in.

So...sorry? Thank you? Pick whichever makes you feel better.

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