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Laura Mola Headshot

Why Not Health First

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Lately, both supporters and detractors can't help but poke President Obama on his accomplishments and purported failures, insisting he should have attacked the job situation before health care. Now, obviously, no one wants to take a serious look at policies that were implemented that did just that, like the automotive industry. I am not going to get into the financial institutions and Wall Street, having been a victim of both, and therefore very biased. Should they have been bailed out? Should there be more regulation in place? I don't know to the first question, to the second, I don't know again.

These institutions, these lawyers, know how to get around any regulation and have the money and the clout to keep us in a strangle hold as they reap profits coming and going. President Obama kept the finger in the dike. If one wants to take a look, a before and after, I think we would all be in agreement it's easier to destroy than to construct or to fix,and we might all be better off to remember 'Rome wasn't built in a day,' especially when we have a president who refuses to play dirty partisan politics. A president who insists he is the president for all. I commend him for that. This isn't a weak man. This is a man who has the courage of his convictions and maybe brought it some folks to fix their mistakes.

All above aside, I started to examine my own feelings, my own thoughts regarding 'health care first.' Could President Obama have put health care on a back burner and given more time to jobs at the beginning of his administration? Or to pose the question in a different way: are jobs more important than health care?

The folks who answer yes might be the lucky ones who are super healthy and have never had to worry about paying a doctor, paying a hospital bill, who have had access to health care all of their lives so don't give it a second thought. For the rest of us, perhaps it would be beneficial to take another look. Ask someone who has just suffered a heart attack, been in an almost fatal accident, had a child born sick or been diagnosed with cancer what he or she thinks about their job.

I would assume nine times out of ten, if not ten out of ten, they are not thinking about their jobs and money at that time, IF, and this is a big 'if,' IF they can pay, if they have insurance. If they don't or have insurance that is no insurance at all, is in effect when you are healthy and when you need the benefits you are dropped on one pretext or another then, of course, scrambling to pay for treatment adds more stress to already stressful situations. Personally I experienced illnesses with family, as I am sure all of us have, yet it was my sister's passing that brought it all home for me.

My sister was lucky she had insurance and was able to afford private nurses as her condition deteriorated. The woman in the next bed was not so lucky. Watching her cringe, moan in pain with nurses barely in attendance and a family that needed to be at work all day and sometimes at night, all I got for my efforts to 'help' were a 'mind your own business' from the nurses in a we-are-busy mode, no time for everyone, that's why you need a private nurse.

Maybe that woman wasn't near death's door, I don't know, but she was suffering from cancer and was in pain and was in hell for sure. I cannot imagine going through that ordeal with no insurance as President Obama did with his mother. I am sure he thought 'there oughta be a law,' and now there is. He saw a wrong and moved to fix it as best he could for us. So if you think health care was a wrong priority, try holding onto a job, thinking about a job when you're stuck in a hospital bed, when you have an IV in your arm, when you're hooked up to machines, or when you're sick and dying and can't afford to get medical care to alleviate or cure the illness. Ask yourself which you would prefer: to be out of work or seriously ill and left at the side of the road with no options. It is said without your health, there is nothing. Yup, I know what I would choose.

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