Thirty-three days ago, my 22-year-old daughter had an eight-hour open heart surgery at one of the top cardiac care facilities in the world. On my employer's health insurance.
Thank you, President Obama.
The author's daughter was born with congenital heart disease and has undergone extensive medical intervention since the day of her birth. She was able to go on her mother's health insurance just in time.
You want to know what it's like to hear your daughter is at high risk for something called sudden cardiac death syndrome? No, you don't. Really.
Understand this, though: The last thing you want to be inflicted with, on top of every other worst case scenario playing out in your panicked brain, is concern about whether the good news is that you'll have to help your daughter figure out how to declare medical bankruptcy from a hospital bed at age 22.
Again, thank you, President Obama.
But its not just that aspect of ACA that they're counting on.
Before this week, we already were worrying about her 26th birthday, the confusion of entering the nobody-in-their-right-minds-wants-to-insure-you arena. Face it, what we have here is the mother of all pre-existing conditions. But we figured we had a couple of years to learn the bureaucratic ins and outs. Our talisman has been the pre-existing conditions clause of the health care act; we've been hanging on for dear life to that, whispering it to ourselves as we fall asleep at night: "No discrimination due to pre-existing conditions." In 2014, the year my daughter turns 25, that life-saving prohibition goes into effect.
Thank you, again and again and again, President Obama.
But now my daughter's entire future is in the hands of nine black-robed jurists, and we are terrified.
There's another reason this story is powerful. The author is Susan Gardner, executive editor of Daily Kos, and this was written for the front page of that blog. Her gratitude to President Obama is in stark contrast to the "kill the bill" folks who ran rampant there for months during the health care debate. So excuse me while I say..."its about time."
Here's how Gardner ends the article:
The current health care law is a baby step in the direction of having more universal cost sharing. Lose that, and we're screwed, both as a society and in my family.
One thing is certain: No single case before the U.S. Supreme Court will ever get the degree of attention from my 22-year-old that this one has.
The rest of her life depends on it.