Renee O

Our world is plagued with disease after disease. Although the quantity of sickness in America is overwhelming, we have been blessed with excellent health care. However, medication, doctors’ visits, and operations sometimes cost more than fancy cars and even a college education. What enables us to live life without worrying about an empty account after paying the piling health bills? Insurance provides the affordable and worriless answer. Insurance covers the costs of health care that would otherwise send many families into bankruptcy. Without insurance many of my closest family members would be paying off health debts for the rest of their lives. However, because of the amazing coverage insurance provides, my family members can still live exciting and productive lives without financial worry.  I have seen insurance provide a second chance, support for veterans, and hope for a child.

First, insurance gives a second chance to those who have made poor decisions but desire to turn their lives around. For example, my grandpa smoked for thirty years during a time when the full effects of smoking were not fully understood. It took him years of struggling to finally quit, yet he quit too late. His lungs were completely destroyed. Concentrated oxygen, provided to him through a tank, only worked for so long. My grandpa needed a double lung transplant. The last time I saw him with his old lungs, he lay on a bed in the hospital struggling to take in enough oxygen to survive. He could not even talk for fear of running out of air. The doctor allowed us to empathize with his complete lack of air by instructing us to breathe through a coffee straw. Within a minute, I was gasping for air. For a moment I understood the desperation my grandpa must have been feeling. If he did not get new lungs soon, he would die. However, at the last moment a lung, of the perfect size, became available for my grandpa. Without insurance this procedure would have cost more than five hundred thousand dollars, an amount my grandpa could not hope to obtain. Without insurance my grandpa would never have had the opportunity to have a second chance at a healthy life. However, thanks to insurance my grandpa can not only talk without losing his breath, but he can also walk without the burden of carrying an oxygen tank. He has a new freedom that is only possible because of insurance.

Insurance also provides veterans with the support they deserve. My other grandpa was drafted in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. At the base where he served, he was exposed to Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals. His time in Vietnam most likely caused the prostate cancer with which he later was diagnosed. In addition he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which also, in part, were caused by his service. As an individual who has sacrificed so much for his country, the resulting financial burden should not be a constraint or a worry. Thankfully, because of insurance, they aren’t. Insurance covered the expensive procedure which removed his prostate and provides continuing care. In addition, insurance helps to pay for the various medications he still needs. Insurance gives soldiers, like my grandpa, the proper care they deserve.

Finally, insurance provides hope for a future to those with undeserved diseases. My brother was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease at age three. Nothing he did could control or change that. He is stuck with a disease that threatens to suck up his future. His treatment requires expensive annual checkups, medications, and testing. In addition, in the case that my brother’s kidneys do fail, without insurance my family would have to withdraw resources from his college savings and general lifestyle. An average kidney transplant costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The huge expenses associated with this disease should not worry my brother or parents. My parents already struggle to face the possibility of losing their son to this dangerous disease. My brother already has lifestyle changes that separate him from other kids his age. Financial worry should not be added to their burdens. Thankfully, it has not. This is because insurance has covered large portions of his care. Due to insurance my brother is able to live as if he was a regular healthy boy. Neither he nor my parents have to deal with monetary stress because of his undeserved disease.

In all, insurance provides families with hope and assurance. When the tragedies of life spring upon us, it is hard enough to face the pain of fighting cancer and disease. The added burden of the cost of covering the incident does not have to worry us. Insurance provided a second chance, help to a veteran, and hope to a child. These great benefits only reveal the importance of insurance to my family. The accumulated impact of insurance has touched millions, giving them comfort and support when misfortunes do occur. Although catastrophes and disease do exist, constant worry should not encompass our lives. Instead, insurance assures us that when hardship does arrive, our futures can be secure and full of hope.

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