Copyright © 2009, Stephen Hawley All Rights Reserved
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. – Sarah Palin
You must be quite a privileged person, Sarah Palin. You must live in quite a nice imaginary world. In my world and my daughter’s world, we have to pay for an additional insurance policy outside of my job just to cover my daughter’s needs. She has Down syndrome too. We have had to take her to physical therapy twice a week for pretty much her entire life to teach her how to walk. Under the existing health care system, my primary insurance pays for 3 months worth of these PT visits per year and won’t be budged for more because there is no competition. It took my daughter 4 years to learn how to walk. That’s 36 months – three full years – that would not have been covered if I hadn’t been able to pick up MassHealth (Massachusetts public health insurance program) for her. My private health insurance will not pay for her to visit the Down Syndrome Clinic run out of Children’s Hospital Boston – one of finest, if not the finest program in the entire world, because they argue that there is a so-called equivalent in-plan program (I sent them a letter with all the credentials from the CHB program compared with theirs and they don’t even come close to lining up, and the in-plan program isn’t specialized for Down syndrome). If we didn’t have the option in this state of carrying MassHealth, we would be driven into penury.
So don’t pretend that a national health program would put your son in front of your lovely pejorative “death panel”. Don’t pretend that you would face hardship. Don’t pretend that your America is different from mine. In my America, I’m downright lucky to be a software engineer in Massachusetts and in a position to afford two insurance policies – because under the existing purely private system, faceless bureaucrats have already made the decision that 3 months of PT per year is enough for a girl born with hemiplegia due to a stroke at birth. Our America already made that decision for my daughter.
So you can take your patently false inflammatory pejoratives. You can take your poorly done appeals for pity, your appeals to fear, your misguided appeals to tradition and pack them up and go walking because your America isn’t good enough. Your America -OUR America- has the 37th best health care system in the world (according to WHO), and that can be and should be far better. So climb back up on your high horse and get lost. Your America is unsatisfactory.