Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Healthcare vs. Providence

Psalm 37:35
"I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. "


This past August 5th was my mom's 16th anniversary in Heaven. I thought in the days we live in, I would share our insurance nightmare.

My dad was a union man and all that implied. He never crossed a picket line in his life. When he was told to burn the trucks of the non-union workers, he did just that. He was a union man through and through. Because I like my knee caps, I won't mention what union he was in. Draw your own conclusions. I have to say, that he and the men he worked with drank hard and worked harder. These were not slouches looking for nothing. The believed that they would be rewarded for all they gave. They were. They got steady work and worked around the clock if that is what the job called for. While some of his ethics could be questioned and answered, not his work ethic. He was the hardest worker I ever met and was proud to be, a man's man. When there was no work to be had, he made a new career for himself, and worked three jobs to keep food on the table. He made sure he always provided health insurance for his family. He worked whatever hours he had to and for some pretty awful bosses to make sure he had enough hours in to get his benefits. He trusted his union to care for his family because they said they would, forever.
Now mom went on a vent in 1987. Her insurance was capped in 1990 or '91. What did that mean for the family with a mom on life support you ask? It was awful. There was simply no money because work was scarce as well. ALL of their savings were used to pay for mom's medications. The respiratory therapy company even took her vent (that she owned) as ransom for payment and gave her a loaner until she had the ability to pay them for the services. Eventually they only came once a week to maintain their vent, but not her.
I learned to clean her trach, change her dressings and change her trach as well. I did this before I was a nurse with a degree. I would ask the pharmacy at work and school if anyone had any left over medication in their pockets for her nebulizer treatment. My parents were unable to pay the mortgage or my tuition...it was as desperate as it sounds.
But the God of nature and natures God stepped in. My best friend's parents payed the mortgage until after I graduated. My mom's best friend payed my nursing school tuition so I could finish school. Groceries would show up on our door step and I know of several times checks would arrive from our dear friends that payed for her medications.
The credit card bills and IRS bills were beyond imagination. These (my parents) were the people who played by the rules, and payed into a system that promised to take care of them. Were it not for a local assemblyman, we would still be waiting for her medicare card. It arrived in April of 1993. It would be June of '93 before we could use it. She was dead in August.
Make no doubt, they were painful and terrifying times.
But I am still here to tell the story. Is He any less God? Is He any less on the throne? Did he meet all of our needs and some of our wants? Did the US Government do anything to save this family? NO...it did not.
Providence did. He saved this family in our darkest hours. He gave us a desire to work harder. He never abandoned us and never left us to our own. He gave us a faith and a righteousness to survive.
I know for a fact that my mom would have been left to die, had she not lived in the greatest country the world has ever seen. If she had lived in Ireland or Canada, she never would have lived those six years at home. Should the horror of Obamacare pass, I fear for all those who would know the glory of God come down. Her life had purpose and I praise God, in that very different time, I got to be apart of it. Not the union, not the government...not any one man provided for our family. God provided and He often used the body of Christ to do so. Sometimes He just stepped in.
One night I returned home from work and the entire street was in a black out...scary thing when your mom is on a vent. As I sped up the block to our house, I saw the strangest sight. The entire street was dark, except our house. Con Edison had no idea why...I do. I bet you do too. The very light of the world kept the power on, because His beloved Ellen needed it to be. Providence met our needs. He will meet yours as well.

How about you?
Do you believe that God can/will provide or do you trust your government to do so? Do you know that we are free in our nation, because God made it so? Do you trust Providence to provide when the world says it cannot be done?

Let's pray:
Father in name of Jesus, step in. As a nation our people cried "give us a king" and we got a Saul. Lord God, send us our David. Rescue your people from despair of those who would destroy us. You know that we are not un-American for fighting this administration. You have given us a spirit to fight the good fight. Let us, the people strive to feed the poor, heal the sick and take in the homeless...and not trust a corrupt leader to do it for us. Lord God step into this mess that Your people might turn to You as the God of nature and natures God. Amen.

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