Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Dream



Last year I attended the Annual Law Summit presented by Autism Speaks. It was my first time in the nation’s capital. There was one place I knew I had to go while I was there... the Lincoln Memorial.

Not only did I want to go because of what Lincoln had accomplished or because of his ties to my home state. I wanted to stand in the place where the greatest speech on equality was ever given. Not just to honor the work and legacy of Dr. King but to invigorate my own personal battle for equality within our healthcare system and to end clear discrimination that autistic people face when it comes to health insurance coverage. 

We are living with a system that is unfair, unjust and immoral. We are living with a system in which the health of the people is secondary to profit. We are living with a system in which our healthcare insurance works perfectly fine… as long as you are healthy. We are living with a system that forces us to accept that one of the very inalienable rights promised to us by our forefathers is now a privilege.

As I stood there I contemplated how if I ate myself to Type II diabetes my insurance would pay for my treatment. If I gorged myself to the point I could not leave my couch, my insurance would cover my gastric bypass surgery. If I smoked myself to lung cancer, my insurance would cover the treatment. If I was allergic to kitty, insurance would cover my allergy shots. If I wanted to pay a little extra for kitty to have FULL HEALTHCARE coverage, I could even elect to do that. Then I thought about how so many autistic children and young adults could not get the treatment they required because insurance companies do not have to provide it.  These often times are children with a world of potential that will never see it realized not because of a LIFESTYLE CHOICE… but through no fault of their own.

In my dream, I see a world in which parents do not have to lose sleep or everything that they have worked to build in order to provide their child the opportunity to reach their full potential. In my dream, I see healthcare coverage being provided because humanity has won out over greed. In my dream, I see Bianca being allowed to become the best Bianca she can be.

It is long past the time to make that dream a reality.

50 years ago today, Dr. King shared his dream with us. The interesting thing about the speech to me is that while it is about racial intolerance, it is really more about equality... period. Watch it again with autism health reform in mind and you see how the grand themes of the speech address inequality everywhere.



"Injustice anywhere is a threat the justice everywhere." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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1 comment:

  1. My kids have been very lucky in that their basic benefits are covered through their insurance - even if it means sitting on a waiting list for a while - its covered...not everything we would like but the most important ones. I cannot fathom how other families are doing it - or not...great post Lou!

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