Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Politics are Personal

"Our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine, our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick, and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or illness."
Michelle Obama's speech literally brought tears to my eyes. She said so many things that I found myself saying "yes! that's exactly how I feel!", whether it was regarding women's reproductive rights, marriage equality, or student loans.
But the issue that always hits home most for me is the cost of healthcare. We live in a country where you could get hit by a car walking down the street one day and six months later lose your house trying to pay for the medical bills. It's horrifying, and it's wrong.
Slightly over a year ago, my dad had a stroke. We were on family vacation, I was napping after a long day on the lake, and my uncle came in and told me to hurry up and get outside because my dad had collapsed.
That was literally the worst day of my twenty years of life thus far.
Seeing my dad, who coached my t-ball games and took me to White Sox games and helped me with my math homework, convulsing on the ground- it was the most emotionally trying time of my life, dealing with his stroke, and little did I know it wouldn't end after the hospital.

In one respect, my family has been unbelievably lucky- my father, while obviously not at 100% good health, has no lasting effects from the stroke: he can speak and use all of his limbs appropriately, and after about a month in the hospital he was able to return to work.
In another respect, we're still suffering the aftershock. My dad, who wants to help my sister and I pay for school more than anything, can't get a loan because he's in such debt from the medical bills. The stroke nearly killed him, and now it's taking his life savings, too. My family already has a lot of medical expenses because of my Crohn's, and now my dad has to try and come up with a way to help me pay for my medicine and pay off his bills.
So however you may feel about politics, some day you or your family might be the people that need help in a hard time. We certainly did not ask for this to happen, so all I can hope for now is healthcare reform that prevents anyone's family from going poor due to an accident.
Me & my daddy


  1. Gah, thanks for the PSTD flashback to that vacation...that was some scary stuff:(

    1. Ahhh but you were fabulous, couldn't have done it without you!