17 Catherine B

Health insurance is a very vital type of insurance. It gives people access to the health care, health services, and medications they need to live or improve their quality of life. Without health care, people who need very expensive medications or treatments like cancer patients would probably have less effective care. For me, insurance is important because it allows me and my family to have access to health care and because it keeps a very cherished loved one alive. Health issues are something I have been familiar with my whole life because of my own health issues and that of my family members.

When I was young, my asthma was so severe that it sent me to the hospital at least one time a year until I was in 3rd grade. I took many medications to control my asthma and allergies and missed a good amount of school thanks to my illnesses. Recently, with so many issues surrounding health care and health insurance coverage being presented in the media, I get reminded every day of the privilege it is to have health insurance. I was reminded personally of the privilege on January 6th of this year (2017). On January 6th, I went to the hospital for the first of three times due to severe illness. I went back and forth to the hospital for two weeks. For me to not have health insurance at that time could have made that situation very different and more stressful. My family and I would have had to be concerned about paying my multiple hospital bills, paying for my medications, and paying for my doctor’s appointments, on top of worrying about all the class and assignments I was missing.

My grandmother, someone very near and dear to my heart, has multiple health ailments. Watching someone you love who was previously a strong and sharp individual progressively become weaker, move slower, look more frail, talk less, sleep more, think slower, and remember less is very hard. Since my junior year of high school my grandma’s health has been deteriorating, but she is still alive and living as comfortably as she can because she has health insurance. My grandma has diabetes, Alzheimer, kidney issues that require hemodialysis, and many other health issues. For the past three to four years, she has spent anywhere from a few weeks to a month in the hospital every year.

Health insurance is the reason her medications, food for her feeding tube, hemodialysis, doctor and hospital visits, at home hospital bed and at one point, her ambulance transportation to dialysis were accessible to her. Because of health insurance, I get to have my grandma around longer. Though I am a college student who wanted to go and explore the world and also attend college away from home, I opted for attending college in my home city of Chicago. I did this so I could visit my grandma as much as I can. I always had the dream of studying abroad for a year, but I have opted for shorter trips abroad places like a spring break trip to Jordan and a trip similar in length to Qatar so I could experience other countries and cultures and improve my Arabic language skills.

Due to health insurance, I can continue my studies knowing the only grandma I have ever known has everything she needs. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been close to my grandma. She worried about me and my asthma and allergy problems and I worried about her. I spent every weekend I could with her. I cherish the moments she is awake from what appears to be an off and on comatose state. I cherish when I say “Hi” to her and she can reply with a “Hey baby.” I cherish the moments I get to sit next to her and hold her hand while she rests.

In conclusion, personally, health insurance will always be important as long as me and my loved ones are alive. I am grateful for the health insurance I have and the health insurance my loved ones have. I have had several loved ones be diagnosed with cancer and painful diseases like multiple sclerosis. I have had loved ones get close to death. Thanks to health care which was accessible because they had health insurance, they were able to receive treatment and in some cases recover miraculously. There have been times when I was very ill and because of medication and medical attention I pulled through. Our medical care would not have been affordable or as accessible without health insurance.

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