I graduated from college in 2009. I was so happy to find a job after months of searching, not least because I could finally stop forking over $400 a month for COBRA coverage payments while unemployed and paying student loans!
Last year, I had a bad summer. A pinched nerve combined with a cancer scare to force me to use weeks of sick time. Still, I couldn’t help but feel really lucky, both due to my diagnosis (not cancer!!) and to my situation.
If I wasn’t living at home, where my parents could help me when I was unable to sit or stand up; if I wasn’t employed at a great company that offered generous paid leave; if I didn’t have comprehensive healthcare that paid for most of my medical tests and prescriptions and physical therapy, advantages that so many Americans don’t have — I would have gone bankrupt, no question. It’s never been so clear to me that in the U.S., the ability to take care of one’s self and of family members has been predicated on wealth, privilege, and luck.
I quit my job to pursue grad school in England recently. I’m due to return to the U.S. soon, and thanks to healthcare reform, I’ll be covered under my parents’ insurance until my 26th birthday.
The relief is overwhelming. I won’t have to struggle with paying for my medications, live in terror of something catastrophic happening while I’m trying to find a job, or worry about being denied coverage due to one of my preexisting conditions.
Thank you. That’s both from me and from my parents, who inevitably would have wound up paying the emergency room bills!
The highest of fives.