Friday, October 31, 2008

Change he can believe in

This is my son, Jack. At 17, he's had Type 1 diabetes since he was eight and it is truly a BFD.

Being 17, Jack tends to avoid talking politics with me for fear I'll get passionate or something.

I'm known to do that.

Insert sentence about apples and trees here, because this afternoon, I heard him holding forth quite eloquently on one critical reason Obama must win: universal coverage (which the plan isn't, but it's a start) and coverage of people with preexisting conditions.

In the past few years, we've gone without insurance for maybe nine months. Our local pharmacies took a greater share of our income than any other line item.

Jack was paying attention. He said, "If I don't get a job with insurance, I'm screwed. Insulin and supplies runs about $500 a month, so if you're not really rich, you're screwed. I'll die without insulin. That's fucked up."

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we got our open enrollment forms for next year. The benefits are punier and the premium is higher. We're already paying five times as much as we did just four years ago. My husband raised the possibility of changing jobs if it was too high as we can barely afoord it now. That's fucked up.

If it weren't for company sponsored insurance, Jack and I wouldn't have insurance. We both have chronic diseases and we discovered there's not an insurance company in the world willing to write a policy for either one of us at any price. The only alternative to private insurance is Medicaid, and the rolls have already been cut to the point where the average person who lost coverage in Republican-dominated Missouri was a single mom with two kids, making $11,000 a year. That's fucked up, too.

I will take to the streets in revolution if there's an electoral repeat of the last two presidential elections.

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