My Baby's Sick, and I have no Health Insurance
by ragekage, Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 12:08:23 PM EDT
It's easy for the issues in this election to feel somewhat distant, or only important in a rhetorical way. When someone talks about having friends or family in Iraq, it's easy to miss the scope of such feelings, since that burden is shared by so few in our society. Likewise, with issues ranging from abortion to illegal immigration to social security reform... to universal healthcare.
I must confess, I was among those who took a very distant look at a lot of those issues. From when I first become politically conscious, through being a Republican, and until somewhat recently, I was more concerned about the here and now of my own life- and none of those issues impacted me directly.
It's funny how things change.
I moved recently to finish my nursing clinicals at a rather prestigious school here. It was a true honor, and an incredible opportunity and boon for my career and future. Especially because I'm struggling to raise my baby girl with only minimal help from her mother, as I left my family behind to be able to move here and attend school.
And now, for the first time in eight years, I don't have a full-time job- I left it behind to be able to move here and attend school. Which entailed a loss of all the benefits I'd never truly appreciated until they were gone. I made decent money for a retail job, and had an excellent benefit package, even if I complained every paycheck about how I was getting gouged.
Now, I have none, at least not until September, when school starts. And unfortunately, this includes my six-month old baby girl.
SCHIP/Medicare can't help me- I made too much money last year, and was on track to do so this year. I never thought I'd be in a position where 24,000 dollars would ever be too much money. My daughter's mother is changing jobs, and won't have health insurance in the meantime.
So it looks like I've fallen through one of the holes in the safety net- and truly, it's my daughter that's going to suffer the most. Hopefully, it's just something the free clinic can clear up, or that is harmless- she's got a growth in the corner fold of her mouth- but as a new dad, nurse in training, and due to my lack of health insurance, I am running through a variety of nightmare scenarios in my head.
And even if everything is just fine, I'm being completely paranoid, and the summer passes until we both get back under health insurance protection without comment, I certainly will never forget the initial stab of horror as the implications of what a health crisis with my daughter would mean for us right now- financially, educationally... and just with wanting to see her grow up happy and healthy.
And I'll certainly remember in November. No longer will this election, or others in the future, be a work of intellectual rhetoric. The vitriol of the primary wars, the shortsightedness of the PUMA people we all know and love, etc, etc- when I get into that voting booth, I'm going to wonder who the best person will be to make sure that I, or people like me, will never have to experience feelings like that ever again.
Update [2008-7-13 17:5:30 by ragekage]:A few people have suggested I look for some monetary help. Whether it's honor, or stubborness, I'd never do something like that. There's people out there who have it way worse than me. I have been blessed, truly. I'm just sharing my thoughts. Knowing you guys are pulling for me and that, maybe somewhere, this can inspire someone to give some more thought to who they pull the lever for in November.