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People with Disabilities, Seniors, and Health Care Reform

  • Published: 2009-09-07 : Author: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: An editorial about People with Disabilities Seniors and the Health Care Reform Bill.

Main Document

Health care is an absolute necessity for people with disabilities and seniors in America; we just cannot do without it. Many of us have health conditions that require regular medical attention; some of us have chronic health conditions. We have prescriptions, many of us, that have to be filled each month. Some of the medications we take require lab work and a health care professional to monitor. People with disabilities use medical and assistive living products; we need health care coverage.

'Dr. Obama' ImageHealth care is an absolute necessity for people with disabilities and seniors in America; we just cannot do without it.

Many of us have health conditions that require regular medical attention; some of us have chronic health conditions. We have prescriptions, many of us, that have to be filled each month. Some of the medications we take require lab work and a health care professional to monitor. People with disabilities use medical and assistive living products; we need health care coverage.

There are a vast number of, 'facets,' related to health care and people with disabilities and seniors. I could go on all day long about the various aspects. One thing is very certain - the health care insurance industry has treated us as pariahs when it comes to covering us. Anyone with a pre-existing condition has been viewed as a, 'risk,' that is unacceptable. My wife Wendy is a, 'cancer survivor,' she lived through kidney cancer, making her ineligible for forms of insurance coverage. Like my wife, I am considered an unacceptable risk by the insurance industry in America. I have epilepsy, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and PTSD. I take medications for these disabilities. When it comes to health care coverage, the costs related to coverage and my wife and I are so far out of range as to be absolutely ridiculous. Life insurance? The insurance industry won't even consider either of us.

Having said that let me also say that I am very much aware that Wendy and I are not alone - not by a very long shot. There are millions upon millions of people with disabilities and seniors, just like Wendy and I in this nation of America. Approximately one-fifth of Americans fall into the category of, 'People with Disabilities,' alone! The number of people who are also Seniors, or are Seniors who do not consider themselves to belong in the, 'People with Disabilities,' category is another matter. I am quite sure there are millions more who need health care coverage who are Seniors in America. Wendy and I are very nearly Seniors ourselves, we have just become Grandparents.

When I look at the, 'Health Care Reform Bill,' that President Obama and his administration are batting about, I have some very serious questions on my mind. Perhaps the largest question in my mind has to do with why none of the leaders in this administration has taken the time to read this bill. Over a thousand pages long, the Health Care Reform bill certainly contains an immense amount of information that surely will affect us as People with Disabilities and Seniors! If this bill is so very important, why is it not worth reading

The next question that has crossed my mind is why the Obama administration has taken the tact of attacking people who have questioned the Health Care Reform Bill, either through Town Hall Meetings or otherwise. As a Disabled Veteran, I take great offense to be labeled as being, 'Un-American,' by Nancy Pelosi, or compared to members of the KKK by Representative Dingell. I dislike being called a, 'Bogeyman,' by President Obama, and told that I am spreading, 'Myths,' when I question a bill that has been so very poorly organized, so badly planned, is unread, and has not been adequately presented to Americans.

There is an incredible need for Universal Health Care in America. We greatly need Universal Health Care that has been compared to the same kind of Universal Health Care offered in other nations. We need Universal Health Care that has been researched to find out what other nations are offering, what is working and what is not for them, and then designed specifically for America. The, 'Health Care Reform Bill,' is none of these things. The Health Care Reform Bill has been put together, torn apart, and re-assembled so many times that I am not sure even President Obama knows what is in it anymore.

The voices of People with Disabilities and Seniors from across America have not been listened to or taken into account when development of this Health Care Reform Bill was occurring. Our voices and input are still being ignored as it continues to change. Instead, anyone who objects or attempts to input anything that is not considered to be a, 'Myth,' by the Obama administration is considered to be a part of a, 'Mob,' is considered to be all, 'Wee-Wee'd,' up by President Obama, and is also considered to be, 'Silly,' by the President.

As People with Disabilities and Seniors, we have witnessed President Obama on national television quite regularly, promoting this Health Care Reform Bill. He has presented the same words, in essence, repeatedly. Yet the same President Obama and this administration claims, 'progress,' where this Health Care Reform Bill,' is concerned. Now President Obama claims to have come up with a version of this bill of his very own.

Personally, I am so lost on all of these versions of the, 'Health Care Reform Bill,' that I have lost track! What I do know is that I have been completely left out of any kind of input, as a Person with a Disability, and as a Disabled Veteran, where this, 'Health Care Reform Bill,' is concerned. I have been labeled as being, 'Un-American,' 'Silly,' a member of a, 'Mob,' and accused of spreading, 'Myths,' and of being, 'Wee-Wee'd up,' by the President. All of this after experiencing disability after serving my nation in the National Guard, as well as my fellow persons with disabilities as a C.N.A. for twenty-four years until my knees gave out because of Osteoarthritis.

As I mentioned, there really is a great need for Universal Health Care in America. One thing I can agree with President Obama on, even after both President Obama and his administration have vilified me, is insurance industry reform. The health insurance industry simply has to accept everyone, despite any pre-existing conditions. The health insurance industry also has to be affordable for every single person in this nation, to include People with Disabilities and Seniors.

The current, 'Health Care Reform Bill,' comes across to me as something that has been written and presented by a group of first-year community college students during one of their study groups. I simply cannot support it because it has not taken the voices of People with Disabilities and Seniors - the very two groups of people most likely to be affected by it, into account. After being endlessly bashed by the Obama administration, I am very personally offended, but I still hope for a day when President Obama and his administration will gather their wits, and spend the time they need to in order to develop true and realistic Universal Health Care for our nation.

Until the Obama Administration takes the time to work for real Universal Health Care, it is my greatest hope that they at least put a leash on the health insurance industry, making health insurance coverage for all Americans affordable.

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