Under my mothers insurance our family is covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. As a young kid I never quite understood the idea of insurance. This idea where anyone could go into a doctor and receive some kind of treatment was understood, but someone who didn’t, couldn’t? This is what I did not understand, and more importantly, being that I have always had insurance, I never quite valued having it until the summer of 2005.
By abuelita (maternal grandmother) was a strong women who has raised not only her immediate family but also the many nieces and nephews which would soon follow. She was a women that always had here house open, filled with warmth and especially food. My abuelita was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the summer of 2005. I still remember the day it all started as if it were yesterday. It was always evening and we were getting ready for dinner. My father asked her if she was hungry, and she said that she was not. The next morning, I was awoken to her throwing up with my mother holding a small bucket under her mouth. Not being able to controlling her throwing up, we called for an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. After many tests, my abuelita found out that the doctors had found a tumor the size of a small grapefruit, and that the tumor was cancer. She was given a date, a set of medications, and a good luck from the doctor, and was given to my mothers care.
The chemotherapy which my abuelita would now have to be taking, many times twice a day, was crazy expensive. Moreover the daily doctor visits which were scheduled, all took a toll on not only my abuelita, but also on my mother. It was at this point that I finally recognized the importance that is health care coverage. If it were not for medical insurance, there would have not been a way that my mother could have afforded the costs of the medication and the daily doctor visits which my abuelita had to take. I remember asking my mother why she would stare at the little bottle of pills for such long periods of time. She would remind me that it was that bottle which, cost thousands of dollars which was prolonging my abuelita’s life. The thought of my mother and father having to pay thousands of dollars for a little bottle killed me! I started to question what if someone who did not have insurance got cancer and needed this bottle and could not afford, what would they do?
My abuelita, passed away the following year, but not after extending her life for another six months after the date which doctors gave her would be here last. If it were not for the insurance that we have, my abuelita would have left us many a month before she did. I believe that, in one way for the other, all people should have some kind of access to medical health insurance. No one in this world has the body or the immune system to prevent them from getting ill. At some point the body is going to get ill, at that point will one need to go to the doctor. Having an insurance plan, which will help cover many of the medical costs helps though who know that they will not be able to pay the fees right out of their pocket.
Now you ask what does insurance mean to me? Well, insurance to me means the ability to think about going to see a doctor without the fear of being declined just because you do not have to funds to pay out of pocket. Insurance is that ability to feel protected within ones own government, and be ability to get sick, just so the body can heal itself and made itself better. Insurance to me meant being able to spend a little more time with my abuelita. We all knew that one day the cancer was going to take her away from us. But if it were not for the medicine which we were able to get through my mothers insurance, she would have left us a long time before she did. It is a human right to feel protected. Though not clearly stated in our constitution, this is a right which should never be denied to not human being. Getting sick is inevitable, thinking that you will not able to see a doctor for when one does due to money should never be the question.
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