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Sahar Sepehri Headshot

President Obama, Please Hurry Up

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Today President Obama unveiled new healthcare plans, but he will be talking about the details in a couple of days. This proposal supposed to help more than thirty million Americans who need healthcare to survive in the US. Healthcare, one of the President's major presidential component and his pride has been facing challenges ever since first proposed. One of the major obstacles was losing a senate seat to Scott Brown, Massachusetts' Republican Senator. Other challenges are how to convince a capitalist mentality, which has been practiced in the US for decades. Such issues and not moving forward faster than expected with the President's plan has made many, including my family--especially my mother--extremely impatient.
My mother suffers from variety of serious medical problems, and she has not had medical insurance in the past a couple of months. Sarcoidosis, heart disease, and two miner strokes are just the important ones. She also has high blood pressure and cholesterol. Not to forget, my mother is on heavy duty medications such as Methotrexate (a kind of chemotherapy medication) and cortisone to control the Sarcoidosis. These medications generate their own complications. She has lost some of her hair. She is constantly tired. Her face has puffed up to a "moon face," and her back has hunched to a "buffalo hump." These are medical terms used by her doctors. One of the strokes has made her very forgetful. So, she is practically and officially disabled. A disabled woman without health coverage, can you imagine?
She has applied for Medicate, but the process has taken forever. Private insurance is simply not an option because of her medical complications and high price. So we have to wait.
My mother is strong emotionally. She has always been a survivor, not knowing any better ever since she was a child. An untreated strep throat back in Iran haunted her up until now at the age of 60. I'm sure she won't like it knowing I revealed one of her secrets. The strep throat damaged her heart which she had not been aware of until I was born. I am the last child of three.
None of us, my sibling and I, could do much to prevent her illnesses from growing. My father passed away five years ago, and my sister lives in England. My brother helps her financially, paying the mortgage and for appliances. They live together. I am more like a moral support. I take her out to shop, talk to her on the phone every day, and watch a movie or two when I go visit her at her place. We are very close.
However, not having medical insurance in America makes all of us live with constant anxiety and paranoia. Every time my phone rings, and it is my mother, my heart skips a beat.
"I'm fine, don't worry so much," she tells me every time I pick up the phone.
"You tell me if you don't have any of your medication or you need to see a doctor right?" It's my job to remind her all the time; otherwise she won't say anything, thinking she will be a burden.
Recently, we paid more than two thousand dollars for her medication, blood test, a cardiogram, and doctor visits. This is nothing. God forbid, if she needs emergency care, then we have to declare bankruptcy. The question is how many other Americans may have to face this?
Today, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau in America, one out of six Americans doesn't have health insurance. This is a real social catastrophe in the first world power.
Last year, I followed President Obama's healthcare plan very carefully, but to be honest, I never thought this problem would knock on my door. I have always been a supporter of President Obama's health plan, and I still am if not more so. America as a great power needs to have a stronger healthcare in which everyone will benefit from. It is one of the rarest developed countries, if not the only one, in which its people suffer from unaffordable medical bills. And now, with the rate of unemployment remaining unchanged at 10% percent since last year, people face a swamp of financial debt more than ever. We, as a family, could also fall into that swamp any moment. It could happen to you too.
The day my mother calls for medical assistance is getting closer and closer. I feel it. What if she will never get the damn Medicate? Anxiety paralyzes me. I will try, though, to keep a calm face not, and to make anyone else worried. When that day comes, I see myself calling my siblings to ask them to do their best to keep our mother alive. So, before that day arrives, I am asking President Obama to please hurry up.