I’m here for Elanor

Below is a copy of the letter I sent my Congressman to urge him to vote yes on Health Care Reform this weekend.  Tomorrow we’ll return to funny stories about my kid.

Dear Representative Markey,

As your constituent, I’m writing to tell you why I’m such a strong supporter of health reform.

This is my daughter, Elanor

A few days after she was born, Elanor caught an infection that turned septic.  The septic infection led to her being admitted to Mass General Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at 7 days of age in early stage organ failure.  Two days after that, she had a stroke.  While we are beyond lucky that her life was saved, one of her kidneys was not, leaving her with a single functional kidney.  The stroke resulted in her having some motor problems and today she wears a corrective brace.

When we look at Elanor we see a happy 16 month old girl who, while a little on the small side, is smart, independent, and funny.  Who wakes up with a smile and a request for Elmo.   Who dances to any music, even when you sing “the itsy bitsy spider.”  Who loves yogurt and hates having her hair washed.  Who always wants to carry my keys down the hallway of our apartment building to “help.”  Who colored her first picture yesterday instead of trying to eat the crayons.

When an insurance company looks at my daughter, the see a potential organ transplant, the potential for seizures or developmental delays, and the higher risk of another stroke down the line.  They look at her and they say “NO.”

Without health care reform, in 13 years I’m going to have to sit down and explain to my daughter that her options are limited.  That she needs a career that will give her insurance on the first day of the job.  That she will not be able to take time off between college and grad school because our insurance will only cover her as long as she’s a student.  That if she wants to be a writer or an actor, she needs to marry someone with insurance or do it on the side while she has a job with insurance.  Because…if the worst were to happen, she can’t afford for her kidney to EVER be a pre-existing condition that can be not covered because she went more than 64 days without coverage.  That she should have a bigger than average cushion because it is not inconceivable that she could max out her “lifetime limit.”

No 16 month old should have limits on what they can hope to achieve in life.  But without health care reform, my daughter will face exactly that.

No, the bill isn’t perfect, but it is NECESSARY.  It can be made better.  But the major points, especially the ban on pre-existing conditions?  Those are good and they are needed TODAY.

Our Founding Fathers weren’t scared to take principled stands against things that were unpopular among the common people.  Have the courage to be worthy of sitting the in the government they helped found, and make a stand for all the kids like Elanor who deserve to never understand why their lives are limited by the words “pre-existing condition.”

Sincerely

Crystal (LAST NAME)

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