My Dengue Fever Health Care Crisis
One year ago, after returning from a month long trip to the Philippines, I developed a case of Dengue Fever.
I went to the hospital thinking it would be an in-and-out thing. Next thing I knew, I was getting branded with a little plastic wristband and carted off to an uncomfortable bed, horrible hospital food, and late night nurses’ visits to take my blood samples and blood pressure stats.
For about two or three days the doctors couldn't tell me what was wrong with me.
I felt worse as the hours ticked away. At night, as I watched a marathon of South Park, I pondered my mortality. Was I nearing my expiration date? The experience cued me into the important of health care. Especially now, not only is current state of American health care being debated, but also I'm on the cusp of getting kicked off my parents' insurance coverage.
It makes me nervous. Well, petrified is more like it. But I know I'm not the only one. I know at some point, the young people who have had the luxury of consistent health coverage will get snapped back to reality by the time they've reached a certain age, or haven't scored a job that pays for the monthly trips to the doc's office. Not to mention those who have no coverage at all and have never had the opportunity.
It is because of these reasons that I don't understand why youth isn’t a major player in the debate over reforming the health care system. Granted, it could be chalked up to the fact that most young people don't give their health coverage too much thought because they're young and, for the most part, healthy. They may not think the healthcare debate is something they need to worry about. After all, they do have severe educational budget cuts to worry about.
But I think the lack of youth presence in the healthcare debate is attributed to the bigger issue of youth not getting called on to bring their voices to the table. We could Twitter and blog to our heart's content about how bogus our health coverage is, but it doesn't mean anyone will notice. The reality is you have to be old enough to be taken seriously, have the connections, and have wads of money stored in your personal high-security Swiss bank account in order to make any obvious impact the way things are run. At least, that's how I feel.
I think the majority of us feel that we have zero political pull in that department, and I don't think it is entirely our fault either.
Health care isn't the only issue youth aren't factored into. Education is taking a major beating from budget cuts and even with students protesting, little seems to be getting done in their favor. Because at the end of the day the people who make these decisions already have the Dream Team they want to please. And we, unfortunately, are eliminated by default.