I’m fortunate now to have excellent healthcare insurance thanks to my husband’s job. However, there are millions of individuals, couples, and families that are struggling because of their lack of healthcare coverage. For countless freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, contractors, and temporary workers, healthcare has always been a major concern.
I know what this struggle feels like firsthand. Three years ago, we were faced with our own healthcare dilemma. My husband was unexpectedly laid off in January of 2007. He lost our primary income and our insurance benefits in one clean swoop. With a two year old, a one month old baby, and a mortgage, we faced the toughest time in our lives. This was definitely the impetus for me growing my business, but it was an incredibly stressful period that I wouldn’t want to relive.
Sure, we tried to obtain private insurance. COBRA offered by his employer was ridiculously expensive considering he was no longer making a salary. We researched alternatives and did our homework.
However, at the end of the day, we couldn’t get coverage. Why? My husband and I are both asthmatics. Our older son Rex has a life-threatening nut allergy, and our younger son Judd was born premature. No insurance company would cover us and our preexisting conditions.
Was this fair? Hell no! We were hung out to dry by my husband’s former employer and rejected coldly by health insurance companies. No one cared about the outcome of our family except for us.
As some of you know, shortly after Randy was laid off, our son Judd contracted pneumonia and suffered a collapsed lung. He stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. After a week in the hospital, he recovered. However, we’re still recovering from the bills.
Crises, such as ours, break up families, cause bankruptcies, perpetuate foreclosures, and deteriorate our society as a whole. This isn’t a political opinion. It’s simply a reality. Those who have been rallying against these reforms need to think about what they would have done if they had been in our situation. My guess is that those who are so critical are not those who have faced the challenges that we have faced.
Well, we made it through our dark days without health insurance and stayed intact as a family, regained our health, and maintained our home. However, I know that there are many, many others out there who aren’t as luck as us. For you, I am ever so thankful that a step in the right direction has been taken.
Today, I’m a little prouder to be an American. We need to be compassionate and protect each other. Without doing so, we’ll never attain our goals of being the best country on Earth.