Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shelter From the Storm

There is connective tissue between Scott Androes ("A Possibly Fatal Mistake") and Donna Dove ("At the Corner of Hope and Worry"). It is of lives that are filled with struggle, emotional and financial. With choices that have to be made between bad and worse. With days spent longing for better days. And with one other thing, no health insurance.

Over 48 million people with a fear they carry with them that this will be the day that the odds catch up to them. That today the left shoulder tear that Donna suffered will get to the point where it demands attention, or that the consequences of not addressing the congestive heart problems of her husband will prove fatal.

Mitt Romney has recently stated that we do not leave anyone in our country without care. He has said that the emergency room is there as a place of last resort and that we don't let people die. Can that possibly be deemed the extent of our moral obligation? Can we allow so many to go untreated today and to live in fear of a more horrific tomorrow? Is this how little compassion we have?

Scott looks out the window of his hospital room and wonders whether his bad decisions will lead to his early and unnecessary death. He knows that, but for charity, this day could be even more terrible. And he understands, that even should he survive, economic devastation from this hospitalization awaits him at the door.

At the diner in rural Ohio, Donna's electric bill consumes her thoughts. The possibility of paying to protect her own health, and that of her husband, is a luxury she can't even afford to consider.

For those like me, who haven't felt the crushing weight of being uninsured, there is no way to empathize. I cannot comprehend what it is to wake up each day staring out at a world where many have deemed you less worthy and more expendable, which in Mr. Romney's words, castigates you for believing yourself a "victim" and "entitled" to the attention and assistance of the government.

There is an overwhelming sadness in learning of the travails of Scott and Donna, one a Harvard graduate, the other a woman who had no taste for school and got pregnant at 16. Though their paths have been different, the story they tell is similar. No one deserves to live with no shelter from the storm. No one needs to die a senseless and untimely death. Their pain robs them of their strength and diminishes our nation.


Anonymous said...

So excellently said. I wish you were on the presidential debate prep team--re

Anonymous said...

yes so well written and you should be on the prep team!
thank you..