This is my daughter, Saharla. At 18 months old, Saharla stopped eating. No one knows why. She's had every test in the book. She spent a year with an nasal-gastric tube down her nose to sustain her. Saharla is now nearly 8 years old, dependent on a permanent g-tube surgically inserted in her stomach, through which she receives food we blend for her four times daily.
In her short life, Saharla has been referred to two intensive feeding programs each requiring 4 specialists: a pediatrician, a psychologist, a nutritionist, and an occupational therapist. She's getting better, but progress is excruciatingly slow -- and expensive. I am lucky to have the means to afford her care, but that hasn't always been the case. And if either my wife or I lost our jobs, we would no longer be able to afford her insurance, the deductible, or the care she requires.
Saharla's health should not be dependent on the company for which my wife or I work, or the insurance we can afford.
My questions are these:
- Why is health care a for-profit enterprise?
- Why do our policy fights center around how much money we give to insurance companies?
- Why do the insurance companies get to write the laws -- on both sides of the aisle?
Healthcare is a human right, and it is our duty to ensure that everyone has access to the healthcare they need. We need to move to a universal, single payer health care system like most other industrialized countries on earth.
While we move toward that goal, I will support increased funding for our existing programs.
Saharla deserves it. And so do all human beings.