The need for universal health care | AspenTimes.com

The need for universal health care

Dear Editor:

I know, only too well, that we desperately need a quality health care plan in this country, and that it will not be the plan we need without the public option. I had health insurance for many years, as a teacher. However, when I moved to The Roaring Fork Valley, I ran into unexpected obstacles, making it unexpectedly difficult to get a full-time teaching position. I decided to substitute teach, hoping to get known and find a teaching position. Substitute teaching does not include benefits, and I couldn’t afford insurance with substitute income.

Policies I inquired into always became outrageously expensive when companies learned that I take blood pressure and cholesterol medications, regardless of the fact that I was, and am, very healthy. I believe in preventative, nutritional health care. I only went to the doctor a couple of times a year for check ups and tests needed to continue my medication.

However, Jan. 31, 2008, I slipped and fell on ice, while walking to an early Obama meeting, which I was going to because I believe wholeheartedly that we need real, universal health care in this country. When I slipped on the ice, I dislocated my ankle, shattered my fibula, and broke the tibia in two places. It hurt.

However, an equally painful part has been the financial terrorism I’ve had to deal with, being uninsured and middle class. That means, not enough income to afford insurance, but not poor enough to have my expenses covered. I’m originally from Canada and I know that there are a lot of lies about their system. Nothing is perfect, but at least they have something there for everyone. What’s not told, is that they also have a choice to carry personal insurance. Canadians who have spoken against our cause have no idea what it’s like to have nothing at all.

When I told one of my aunts, in Canada, about all I’ve been dealing with, she simply replied, “Marilyn, dear, you did that in the wrong country.” I don’t understand why Americans are so freaked out about the word “socialism.” We’ve already had forms of it in the U.S.

Recommended Stories For You

However, we pay the taxes, but if we make too much, yet not enough income, there are no benefits. We need that to change, to include the tax paying folks in the middle. It took two surgeries and leg saving hyperbaric oxygen for my healing. When I get through all that has transpired out of this, at least I have the option to go back to Canada. Others in this country don’t. I have great friends I care about here. I wish the people, with limited perspective, could take off their blindfolds and see.

I never expected this to happen to me, and I’m not to blame, nor irresponsible. A few seconds, flash: not seeing the ice certainly changed my life. I’m determined to find/create the good, but it’s certainly been a heart wrenching challenge.

Marilyn McDonald

Basalt