It is all so new that we do not yet know how it will all sort out, but my husband and I are perilously close to becoming poster children for health care reform.
We are both closer to retirement age than we are to the beginnings of our careers and we have worked very hard to overcome the vagueries of the financial market to build what we hope is an adequate retirement fund. We hope for a few more good working years for Robert and I am hoping to find a reasonable job with health insurance.
But now there is reason to think Robert has cancer and all our carefully laid plans seem futile. Robert's company offers Family and Medical leave of 12 weeks without pay and the disability insurance we never expected to need would not even cover our house payment let alone the cobra payments to continue our health insurance. If Robert needs chemo, what will happen if he cannot continue to work? More importantly, how will we afford the chemo if he is unable to work? How long will our retirement funds last?
These are the very real questions of people who have tried all their lives to be fiscally responsible. These are the very real questions that health care reform would answer by making sure that no one has to bankrupt themselves to stay alive, by making sure everyone has health insurance, by eliminating from our fear list those words "pre-existing condition." I wonder how many of those who are protesting health care reform and yelling at town hall meetings and distributing the negative emails would be in better shape confronted with the same situation my husband and I face.
Health care reform may well come too late for me and for Robert, but I pray it is not too late for you, gentle reader.