Obama Critic Apologizes Now That She Has Cancer
It’s a hard way to learn a lesson about administration policy, but for one California woman, the experience has literally been lifesaving.
In a letter to the L.A. Times, California mother and artist Spike Dolomite Ward apologized to President Barack Obama, admitting that during his time in office she had gone quickly from supporter to opponent, believing that the president had done nothing to help the country since being elected.
But like many Americans, especially the self-employed, Ward and her family eventually found themselves in a personal budget crunch where they could either pay their mortgage or pay their health insurance premiums, but not both. The choice at the time seemed obvious — keep their home.
Then she found out she had cancer.
Ward was able to use the Obama health care reform laws to get access to affordable insurance without being turned down because of her condition. Without that care, she would have been unable to get insured, as no company would insure a woman in the midst of battling cancer. And without insurance, she would have no option but to pay every cent of her expensive treatment out of pocket until she and her family went bankrupt, or give up on treatment all together.
“If you are fortunate enough to still be employed and have insurance through your employers, you may feel insulated from the sufferings of people like me right now,” Ward wrote. “But things can change abruptly. If you still have a good job with insurance, that doesn’t mean that you’re better than me, more deserving than me or smarter than me. It just means that you are luckier. And access to healthcare shouldn’t depend on luck.”
It took a brush with death to make Ward appreciate the actions that the president has been able to take on behalf of the poor, the sick, and the uninsured. But that’s the way it often is in this country. No one really appreciates the policies that are passed by our politicians until they are directly effected. It’s difficult to convince a thirty year old that social security needs to be protected, or convince an employed worker that someday he or she might just need his or her own unemployment extended.
Every day that we manage to not need the social safety net is a day that we should consider ourselves lucky indeed. There may not have been many victories with this administration, but we can at least value those that have happened, and hopefully before they directly impact us, as well.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons