I wanted to give a brief update on my friends Steve and Tracy, whose health difficulties and resulting economic strains were chronicled severeal months ago. Steve is now walking, albeit not without some difficulty and the occasional bad day when needs rest. But he has been able to be covered due to the new High-Risk Insurance Pools that the health care reform bills created (here is Wisconsin's program which Steve is covered under). Unfortunately, he probably has permanent scar tissue and back pain difficulties since his condition could not be treated in time, and it's a sad reminder that the biggest assistance that affordable helth care gives to people is the ability to proactively take care of problems, instead of have finances (or lack thereof) dictate treatment.
The second part of this is that Tracy informed us last night that she is going to get a biopsy on Wednesday to test for breast cancer. I will add that she is all of 37 years old, and any time you hear the "C" word, it is frightening, even if it's very possible that you don't have it or it is in an early treatable stage. I wished them the best, and it shakes you when you see good people get dealt such rotten hands through no fault of their own.
And this is why the health care reform opponents and other associated right-wing whiners are so appalling to me. So many things in life happen to you, not because of things you do yourself, and to have the hubris to not demand that government be there for support if something like that happens to you, and occasionally demean and laugh off those who have misfortune fall to them, is disgusting. YOU could be the next one laid off due to your company's mismanagement. YOU could be the one stricken with some awful ailment that requires you to miss work and get treatment. YOU could be the one victimized by the next stock market crash that results due to negligent regulation or executives gambling with company assets.
In the greatest country in the world (and yes, I still believe that), it is not acceptable to have people fall through the cracks and into the ground because of things beyond their control. And if you don't believe it could happen to you, you're probably the one that deserves to have it happen to you, and will have it happen to you, just so you learn the lesson.
I may have more in a couple of days, but it's been busy with the girlfriend moving in and with plenty of visits to family as this hot, long summer comes to an end. But I had to get this off my chest.