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October 16, 2008

The candidate's health care plans hit home

HealthI watched the presidential debate last night, eager for information and ideas, and I came away with one stark realization.

Only one candidate proposes a plan that would ensure that I'm not dropped from my employer's health plan due to a pre-existing condition. 

Only one candidate would ensure that all children are adequately covered for the checkups, vaccinations, and (God forbid) treatment they need.

Only one candidate offers a plan whereby my husband and I will EVER be able to change jobs. 

Due to my pre-existing condition (stage IIIC cancer) it will be very expensive, if not impossible, for me to obtain private coverage, as McCain so blithely suggests we do if we are dropped from employer's plans, or if we go so far as to change jobs.  Until something changes politically, I'm stuck.  My husband is stuck, actually, since he's been the one able to work since my diagnosis.  If he leaves his job (or if something ever happened to HIS ability to work), I will have no health insurance, and little prospect of getting it again.

No insurance means no chemo.

No insurance means no radiation.

No insurance means no surgeries.

No insurance means the tumor grows, unabated, and weakens my body in a matter of months if not weeks.

If this had happened last year ... well ... I wouldn't be able to write this post, much less raise my children, volunteer in my community, help others, do my research, and contribute to the world's work.

All of a sudden, the stakes in the presidential election just got really high for me.  Their health care plans hit home.  Barack Obama's plan would increase access to coverage for all Americans, particularly children, and ensure that pre-existing conditions, like cancer, diabetes, and asthma, don't cause Americans to actually lose their health insurance, or make it impossible to replace.  John McCain's would not.

I never get involved with politics.  But this time, politics got involved with me.

It's personal now.

Susan blogs at Toddler Planet and at Mothers With Cancer, a group of twenty women fighting twenty cancers.  She is now convinced that without health insurance, all of our lives are at risk.

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