On Tuesday, I'll be answering questions from yesterday's "Ask me anything" post. Please leave a question in the comments section for me to answer.
I try to keep politics out of my blog because obesity impacts people from all parts of the world, races, creeds, sexual orientations, and political viewpoints. Today I make an exception. I'll be talking about health care reform. Personally, I'm thrilled that it passed. If you're not, don't be afraid to let me know. All I ask is that you please be civil in the comments section. If you don't want to read this, come back on Monday for my weekly weigh-in. I'll try to stay away from politics for a good long time after this post. Thanks.
The senate just passed health care reform. I know not everyone who reads my blog falls on the same side of this argument (heck, some of you aren't even Americans), but I'd like to share with you why I'm elated about the reform.
When I graduated from college in the summer of 2008, I was covered by my student health insurance until the fall, but after that I was on my own. I sent out over 35 job applications for teaching positions that summer, but could only find work part-time at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. No health insurance and not very much money either. In the fall I became a substitute teacher. At best, I was working 2 days a week. At the age of 25, I was living with my parents, had two jobs, no health insurance, and I was barely getting by.
I started applying for health insurance. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the monthly payments, but I pursued insurance anyway because I was terrified of something happening that would put me thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt.
I started contacting various insurance companies. I tried MinnesotaCare first because I didn't make much money and I thought I might qualify. I was wrong. I made slightly more than I needed to to qualify. I can't remember the name of the company I ended up applying for after that, but I filled out an application asking me things like if I had been cured of my ADHD and for how long. Ugh. Anyway, I filled it out and sent it in only to be told I was too heavy to receive coverage. What! I'm too fat for health insurance? I called and was told I was also declined because of my sleep apnea. That's right, I snore. I'm fat and I snore. Therefore, I don't deserve to be covered if I get cancer or get hit by a bus. I asked the woman how much weight I'd need to lose and she told me that the sleep apnea was a preexisting condition and they wouldn't be able to cover me at all. Case closed. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.
What did I do? I went without health care. Fortunately, I was eventually hired as a music teacher and got my employee health insurance. Two months later, I found a lump on my testicle. It was a false alarm (thank god) but if I had gotten testicular cancer without health insurance I would have been sunk. If you've ever gone without health insurance, you know exactly how scary it can be not to have that safety net.
Discrimination is now going to be a thing of the past. Everyone will be able to get reasonably priced health insurance and that is why I'm celebrating.