Laura Hershey: Writer, Poet, Activist, Consultant Rotating Header Image

Five personal reasons why I want our lawmakers to vote FOR the health care reform bill, imperfect though it is…

Five personal reasons why I want our lawmakers to vote FOR the health care reform bill, imperfect though it is:

1. I hope that some of my disabled sisters and brothers currently in nursing facilities will be able to leave the institutions, and receive the support they need under the bill’s plan to improve Medicaid. Among other provisions, states would be offered a 6% increase in the federal Medicaid match, to encourage them to provide community-based personal attendant services.

2. I hope that some future people with disabilities — which could include any of our aging parents, our returning veterans, or anyone else among us — will be able to get the assistance they need in their own homes, without impoverishing themselves to qualify for Medicaid, through the bill’s long term care insurance services program.

3. I hope that some of my attendants who are currently unable to afford health insurance, or unable to obtain it due to pre-existing conditions, will finally have access to health care. They work incredibly hard supporting my and other people’s health, independence, and quality of life, yet this important job does not provide them with employer-sponsored health insurance. I sincerely hope there will soon be affordable, meaningful, portable coverage available to them.

4. I believe, deeply, that health care is a human right. This bill takes an incremental step toward fulfilling that right, for some people. It’s not enough, but it may be a start.

5. I want to defeat these assholes.

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