Many of the folks that post on this political thread express very strong opions regarding their particular beliefs. As I read through these dialogs I wonder how many of you feel the way you do because it fits your ideology or because you’ve actually been there. Let’s look at some of the major issues and I’ll tell you my story:
Health care coverage - Been there: I really never thought much about the cost of health care. I work for the government and have excellent benefits. Aside from that my husband and I have always been strong and healthy and rarely used our health benefits (we have no children). That is until this spring when my husband was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. It was quite a shock and has changed our lives forever. However, nothing prepared me for the cost of the treatment. Chemotherapy (CHOP-R) is given every 21 days. The cost of just one of his drugs is $10,000.00/100mg. The other drugs are cheaper but it still comes to a cost of $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 every three weeks! Fortunately I’m covered, but this has really opened my eyes to the whole issue of health care and medical insurance. Now, what is really interesting is that when I look at the paperwork I get from my insurance company, I see that the hospital is settling for 50% or even less of those initial charges! So who gets to pay full pop? Does anyone? Are the charges inflated so that the hospital will be able to settle for what they wanted in the first place? For whatever reason, I’ll tell you, if you are poor or unemployed and you don’t have health insurance, you better hope you never get sick. We need some kind of health care reform in this country because this is getting out of hand. Now, most of you guys reading this are young and think this will never happen to you - but it can. My husband has been training for twenty years, doesn’t smoke, eats a clean diet and drinks moderately. It’s genetic load, baby, and there is nothing you can do about that.
Stem cell research - Been there: My husbands form of lymphoma is incurable. The best we can hope for is full remission. However, low dose chemotherapy has not been able to put him into remission. Our best hope at this time is a stem cell transplant. This is where they will harvest his own stem cells and freeze them while they give him very high dose chemo. The chemo will kill all his bone marrow, wipe out his immune system and hopefully kill the cancer. They will then give him back him his stem cells so that he can grow new bone marrow and develop a new immune system. The reason why this can work is because bone marrow stem cells are like blanks and can develop into what the body needs them to be. Embryonic stem cells show even more promise. The cells are absolute blanks and have a far greatly potential for curing disease. Research into this area is crutial to finding cures for so many presently incurable diseases. It is too bad that religion is standing in the way of potentially saving lives.
Protection of the environment - Been there: As a biologist I always viewed protection of the environment in a rather ecological way. Restrict invasive species, don’t clear cut the forests, protect habitats…you get the idea. That was until I went to work for the Environmental Protection Agency. I work as a regulator. That means I go out to facilities, factories and inspect them to insure they are in compliance. All my inspections are unannounced. Baby, if you could see the things I see. Yep, people are still dumping their plating waste, yep, folks still don’t know they cannot put hazardous waste into a dumpster, yep, people are still stupid. Aside from that I also have a really good handle on how hamstrung I am by our legislature and politics and in regards to being able to protect the environment effectively. Some facilities feel it’s cheaper to be out of compliance and pay the penalty than to operate within the confines of the law. I could go on and on.
Abortion - Been there: Let me just say that no male on this board should ever open his mouth about it. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant and you never will. I don’t care if you’re married or not. It doesn’t count. Just like I will never know what it’s like to be kicked in the nuts. I know that it must hurt, but until I’ve experienced it, I really have no appreciation for it.
Peoples opinions can be drastically altered by their particular circumstances at the time. These are some of the major issues for me in this election that I have a true appreciation for, because I’ve been there. I know I’ve expressed strong opinions on other issues such as the war, but these really bring it home to me.
So instead of copying and pasting some article you read somewhere. What are your stories. What have you personally experienced to make you feel the way you do?