My son will turn 10 years old this month. Before his second birthday he was diagnosed with autism and muscular dystrophy, and as you can imagine, we have been deeply involved in the medical community for many years.
For the most part, we have had close, personal working relationships with his doctors and other caregivers.
This was never more evident than in 2003, when my unit deployed for Kuwait one month before Operation Iraqi Freedom started. Within three weeks of my departure, he regressed to the level of a 3-month-old, stopped participating in therapy sessions and, for the most part, stopped eating and drinking.
During that time, family, doctors and therapists banded together, basically around the clock, to keep his regression to an absolute minimum and for six months documented in great detail what he was experiencing. I was returned home after six months in Kuwait and Iraq, and soon thereafter I requested a Family Hardship Separation, which was something I did not want to do. But this is my son, and the decision was based on what is best for him.
For the past five-plus years I have been a civilian, and I am grateful that my employer continuously negotiates for the best dental, medical and vision insurance plans available. It is something that I work for. It is something that I pay for with a monthly payroll deduction.
With this insurance, I am basically free to select from an array of doctors and specialists, and the co-payments are minimal. We know our doctors, and they know us. Part of being a responsible parent and provider is seeking the best for your family.
For my son, I found a doctor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. This man called me on a Saturday responding to a letter I had sent him. He told me that he is not accepting any new patients, but, since it was obvious to him that we took the time to research his conditions and care, he stated that if we want to make the trip, he will see him. To this day, this doctor still calls and e-mails us to see how things are going.
Granted, this is not the case with everyone. However, this is my family, we will decide what doctors we see, and we will have a say-so in our medical matters, not some bureaucrat with a union card.
Speaking of, approximately three years ago, my wife was speaking with one of these very people in the Georgia Medicaid office in Atlanta about his therapy, and this bureaucrat told my wife, "He's gonna die anyway." True story, folks.
If the current health care bill becomes law of the land, this and then some is what we have to look forward to. If its main goal is to find a way for the poor and disabled to acquire insurance, then discuss it and present the solution in 2-3 pages. There is no need for 1,000-plus pages and a 73-page amendment to address these issues - even for the federal government, unless it has some hostile takeover in mind.
By the way: Why did Congress exempt itself from this wonderful legislation?
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