Today is a proud day for me. Today I get to introduce you to a new member of our Fibromyalgia blogging community, Kathy of Fibrochondriac (don’t you just love that name?). But Kathy is not just any blogger to me. She is also a member of my local FibroHaven support group. I am so happy and proud to have another FibroHaven voice on the web. I have mentioned before, we are a resourceful bunch, so expect a lot of topical and useful information at Fibrochondriac.
I could tell you that I appreciate how thoughtful and well-researched Kathy is, or I could tell you that she challenges me to think about issues I might not otherwise, but instead I will just share with you her post. Be sure to bookmark the link to her blog. She is already well on her way there, and I know she would appreciate a visit from you. Enjoy!
Health Care Rumors
I was in Indianapolis last week and saw something that totally amazed me. A group of at least fifty people protesting on the sidewalk in front of my hotel. I didn’t have my glasses on and I couldn’t read the signs so I sidled up to one of the door attendants and asked what was going on. “They’re protesting health care reform.” WHAT? Why in front of the hotel? “Because it’s illegal to protest in front of the capital” which is right down the street from where we were staying.
I decided to take a closer look and wandered closer to the protestors. The signs read things like “There is NO free health care!”, “Don’t take my Medicare from me!” “I’ll KEEP my doctor THANK YOU”, “NO MORE TAXES!” And other things that made me shake my head. Sorry, don’t remember them all but I do remember I was pretty aghast by the misinformation.
I had questions to ask so I stepped up the pace from wandering to purposeful…which is exactly when my husband started steering me in the opposite directions. He’s a federal employee and he knows me. He’d prefer I didn’t start anything in full view of his colleagues who were all milling about the lobby ready to go to dinner. I don’t blame him.
So I didn’t get to ask why these people were protesting, or more to the point, who had pushed their buttons and fed them some, as far as I could see, misinformation.
I believe we need health care reform. I appreciate Fibrohaven allowing me to share my opinions on the subject. Actually our Founder of Fibrohaven Support Foundation, Blogger, Writer and Holistic Health Advocate (I stole this off her Twitter page) refers to me as an “Information Savant” because I blast her with so much (usually relevant, in my defense) info…which I suppose is a compliment?
I do tend to dig around a lot for information, but I didn’t have to go far, in this case. Health care advocate (full disclosure: she was my advocate and I was able to receive disability retirement and health insurance because of her work. So I’m rightly biased.) Jennifer Jaff, of Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc has already done the research and blogged about her concerns for health care reform here. There isn’t much (if anything) about healthcare that she doesn’t know or can’t find out.
The Cliff Notes Version
Those people in Indianapolis were wrong. Public opinion is being swayed by rumors such as all our taxes will increase. If you make over $250K, it’s a possibility…everybody else, not likely. And health care reform will not force you to change doctors or insurance (as Jennifer says; “Poppycock!). Medicare is not going to go away and it appears that the prescription “doughnut hole” is going to be reduced. So there!
Who has been spreading the rumors? Some fingers point to Insurance Companies and “Big Pharma”. Others at the “rabid right”. The usual suspects, but it doesn’t really matter; the point is that these rumors are persuading the public (those folks in Indianapolis) that health care reform is a bad thing. And if the bills are going to make it out of Congress and onto the Presidents desk, somebody has to let our representatives know that we agree that health care has to be reformed.
There are a lot of good things going for the bills that have made it to Congress; coverage of pre-existing conditions, caps on out-of-pocket costs, and insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people because of health issues for instance. They are still hammering out how it gets paid for, but if they allow a public option “the Commonwealth Fund has issued a report that says that we will save $200 billion over ten years with a public alternative.” And the President will not support anything that is going to add to the deficit. So we can hope…
Do you care?
Why would you care? Health Care Reform affects everyone on some level. Especially those of us with chronic illnesses. While they aren’t addressing chronic illnesses specifically (you should see Jennifer’s comments on Facebook when she was trying to get an answer out of the white house!) however a cap on out-of-pocket expenses would be a good thing.
Why not keep an eye on it? Watch what is happening. Pay attention where you get your information. Don’t be like those people in Indianapolis. And make your opinion and your needs known. You can contact your representatives here.
What do you say to your representative?
Think about it for a minute. Why do you care? Express yourself. In my case my 25 year-old daughter has interstitial cystitis (which is in some way comorbid/related to fibromyalgia) and no health insurance. (She’s gone “off the grid” of health care. I won’t go too far into that, but I would prefer she was at least monitored!) I have a sister-in-law in a similar position. I have a friend who had to declare bankruptcy when her son had leukemia, even though she had insurance. I know too many people like this. And dammit, my representatives are gonna hear about every last one of ’em!
You may not agree that health care is a right, but the current situation cannot be defended and should not be maintained. The status quo will continue if Congress does not do its job. So give ’em an earful!