Tammy Baldwin understands the need for health care reform; it’s personal

When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis three years ago, the hardest part wasn’t the partial blindness, the loss of bladder control, or having to use a walker to get around; it was spending hours each day on the phone dealing with my private insurance company. As anyone with a major illness can confirm, once you’ve been labeled with a “pre-existing condition,” you’re in for a real battle with your insurance company, and that’s IF you can even qualify for private insurance.

I did not give myself MS. I did everything “right” and I still got stuck with this disease. People get sick with all kinds of diseases, through no fault of their own. In a civilized society, that is understood and accepted.

I don’t mind paying for my MS care, but as a member of the middle class, I do mind that the cost is jacked up and exorbitant, and that insurance company CEO’s are making a fortune off of people like me due to our health care system.

Our current health care system is broken. It’s unsustainable. And everybody knows it.

The most sensible solution to our unsustainable, broken health care system is Medicare for all. But since it’s doubtful we’d get that considering our current political climate, we’ve got the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare. That’s the reality.

It’s certainly not perfect, I’m not saying it’s even close. But I would wager that those of us with “pre-existing conditions” would rather have the protections the Affordable Care Act affords than leave it to “free market solutions” to level the playing field for us.

Bandying about catchphrases like “free market solutions” may sound cool during campaign season because slogans like that make for awesome bumper stickers, but it does not solve complex problems. Pretending like it does is delusional.

Tammy Baldwin understands this. She knows what it’s like to have a “pre-existing condition” and she’s fighting for a fair system for all of us. Check out this video of Baldwin explaining why she’s against the repeal of the ACA.

And remember, none of us is immune to life’s cruelties such as illness and disease. It’s how we deal with this that makes us who we are as a society.


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5 thoughts on “Tammy Baldwin understands the need for health care reform; it’s personal

  1. Lisa, thanks for sharing your story.

    I’ve got my own reasons for supporting meaningful, comprehensive health care reform, and among those reasons is the fact that when my son was born seven and a half weeks early, he was born in an out of network hospital due to the emergent nature of things. Despite being reassured by my insurance company that the costs of his care would be covered since the situation happened before we could get to an in-network hospital, I later found out that wasn’t the case. Needless to say, shortly after my son’s eight week stay in the hospital’s NICU was over, we started getting bills from the hospital and various doctors who treated Nick. The total bill when all was said and done totalled just over $250,000, and I was told I’d be on the hook for that despite having health insurance.

    Thankfully I fought my insurance company and won, but I can only imagine how many others found themselves in similar situations and didn’t win their fights.

    That’s just one reason why we need real healthcare reform.

  2. Lisa, much like you, I have a pre-existing medical condition, however, in my case, I have an autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s not my fault or anyone else’s fault that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, nor is it your fault or anyone else’s fault that you have Multiple Sclerosis.

    It would be impossible for me to get health insurance without the protections provided by the Affordable Care Act that will go into effect in 2014. I don’t schedule medical appointments with psychiatrists or take medication because neither I nor any of my family members can afford to pay the medical bills.

    Lisa, I view you are a strong, brave, caring, and intelligent person.

    1. Aaron, thanks for sharing your story. My son is autistic, and I thank God every day that we’re fortunate enough to have health insurance coverage for him.

  3. Aaron,
    Thank you for your kind comments.
    It seems like everybody has a “pre-existing condition” story. Something must be done to fix the problem. Fake votes to repeal the ACA a la the GOP won’t solve anything.

  4. My heart goes out to all with preexisting healthcare issues. I thank God that when my twins who were born prematurely, costs were mostly covered by insurance. But that was 26 years ago things have change, insurance is not longer affordable and not always available everyone.

    Here’s an article about the healthcare mandate you might want to look at, which is the biggest reason most republicans want to repeal the law…

    Rather than appeal to the collective good, this Viewpoint argues for a duty to buy health insurance based on the moral duty individuals have to reduce certain burdens they pose on others. Because physicians and hospitals have a duty to rescue the uninsured by providing acute and emergency care, individuals have a corresponding duty to purchase insurance to cover the costs of this care. Requiring individuals to meet this obligation is consistent with respect for individual liberty and does not imply that they must buy gym memberships or eat broccoli.


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