Americans need the health-care law, and Obama must fight for it

As a political junkie, I read every newspaper — unlike Sarah Palin — and watch both Fox and MSNBC. It has become more apparent in the discussion and shameful votes the House Republicans placed on repealing the health-care law Jan. 19 is only an indication of what U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said on the floor of Congress: “We have to repeal this president.”

What she really meant was “beat up this president.” But these anal-retentive elitists are slowly finding out that President Barack Obama has street smarts, unlike any of them. Does the new House leader, Tan Man Boehner (R-Ohio) think that “sweeping his father’s saloon” makes him streetwise? For crying out loud, our president was being shifted from country to country, family to family and wound up in New York during his college days, worked the streets of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago and did not have a father to sweep for.

Here are a few examples of why we need this health-care law to be signed by the president:

• My husband’s union had a $4,500 lifetime cap for mental-health services. As a clinical social worker, there were times I had to iron out stresses in my life with crisis intervention sessions. When I reach that cap, no matter what mental-health issues arrive, even hospitalization, I would not have coverage. As a former advocate for the mentally ill, I worked with the union and pointed out that, according to statistics, some of their members had to have family members with more serious mental-health needs than crisis intervention. I pointed out illnesses of schizophrenia, bipolar, paranoia, ADHD, etc. The union heard me and kudos to them for removing the cap. Now what about medications easing their pain and symptoms?

• Their pharmaceutical cap per year is $750. As an example, a year ago I suffered with asthma and COPD and was diagnosed with lung cancer. During my medical dilemma, I went over my $750 cap and was forced to go to Canada and pay out of pocket. Is that what the bullies on their pulpits want for our country? It seems that way by their vote to repeal.

• At that time, three thoracic surgeons insisted on removing the lobe on my right lung. My husband and wonderful internist, Dr. Rosenberg, begged me to go through with the surgery. This was a crisis I had to work out on my own. Logic set in and I asked myself how these honored doctors could diagnose me with lung cancer when the node was too small to biopsy. I took immediate action and as I learned as Rule No. 1 at Adelphi Social Work School, cover your ass.

I took action advocating for my health needs and started with the Internet. Boom! A hit: cyberknife. A noninvasive form of radiation where you are zapped only three times with radiation 100 times stronger than the usual radiation. Dr. Katz, the radiation oncologist, asked the same question as I asked myself, “How can they diagnosis cancer without a biopsy?” I knew I was on the right track.

We wait and watched. If it grows, we have time for the cyberknife. I chose this method because I would go home after the sessions. We waited. I had CT and PET scans every few months and eventually the node went down 3 mm. It was most likely scar tissue.

We need better health care and definitely need this health-care law. Obama is a street fighter. He has used his knowledge of the streets to deal with these emotional and political bullies. He did his fighting back without rhetoric, blaming, name-calling or attacks and in a classy, smooth and smart manner.

The truth will prevail! And his approval rating is rising on a daily basis. We are not as stupid as the bullies think we are. God bless America and our president.

Joyce Shepard