Friday, April 18, 2008

I think Ghandi might have been onto something.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Ghandi


Would you like to hear something that is equal parts terror and excitement?

I've been asked to speak at a press conference at our State Capitol on the 29th.

And I said YES.

I'm terrified of public speaking, just thinking about it makes my stomach drop outside of my body and starts the room spinning. So why am I doing this?

"You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result"
-Mahatma Ghandi

Because I can. Because I should. Because I want to.

We aren't the only family in this situation. We aren't the only family who has fallen through the cracks, not the only family that sits right above the SCHIP income level with no other options, not the only family who has been denied coverage because of the bottom line. This terrible thing that has happened to our family is, unfortunately, not unique to us. Out of the 1.5 million uninsured children in our state alone, 487,000 of these children are above the SCHIP income guideline.

Do you know how much it costs our state to insure a child?

$40 per month.

Do you know the average cost for private family insurance in our state?

$900 per month. And in many cases, that $900 insurance does not even provide comprehensive coverage.

Is there something wrong with this?

Yes, of course there is.

Sadly, this situation is not unique to us, this specific problem affects 487,000 people in our state; however, the opportunity I have to bring attention to it is unique to us, to me, and it has the ability to affect change not only for our family, but for the 487,000 just like us. I have a story and a voice and an opportunity to use that voice, and I can't pass that up. I won't pass that up.

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems" -Mahatma Ghandi

It's time to be the change.



Cross posted at MOMocrats.

43 comments:

painted maypole said...

you rock!

Becca said...

You DO rock! I can't wait to hear about it. (And call me if you are in the area and have some free time to have lunch or something)

cinnamon gurl said...

Yowza! That is HUGE!

To help with the public speaking fear, just practice actually saying what you want to say, and you'll be fine. You rock!

Anonymous said...

40 dollars a month is what the family pays or what the state pays? Because if the state is paying 900 a month while the family pays 40 a month, the other 860 a month comes from all the taxpayers.

No matter what, the money comes from somewhere.

Kyla said...

Anonymous: Sorry, let me clarify.

When a child is covered through SCHIP, the amount our state pays is $40.

The average cost for a family to pay for PRIVATE insurance (completely separate from the state) is $900 per month. For families like mine, that is 30% of their monthly income, and we can't pay for it.

The point is the discrepancy in those numbers. The insurance companies charge exponentially more while offering substandard care.

If the state could offer SCHIP coverage for children over the income limit on a sliding fee scale, I think everyone would be in a better situation. I would be more than willing to pay for my children's care, that's never been the issue. I don't expect anyone else to foot the bill. I just believe insurance should be accessible to all children.

Hetha said...

Yes!

Mad said...

I love you.

And as you know, I would be more than willing as a tax payer to help foot the bill for other people's health care. You see, we all come into this world with a pre-exisiting condition and that is called mortality. It will get us all in the end so we might as well steer the ship together.

Karen said...

you can, you can, you can.

Kristin said...

Eek!

I'm so so proud of you, Kyla...and you haven't even spoken yet. Well, not at the press conference.

Be the change, girl!

Mimi said...

Kyla! You sound so strong and assured, I have every confidence that you will be the change. The inequity is real, and you point it square in the face and name it for what it is.

(BTW, I'm with Mad. I pay for my health care out of taxes, and I pay for Mad's health care, and Bon's and AlphaDogMa's, and HBM's, and Kittenpie's and all their partners and kids ... and they pay for me. And it doesn't cost $900 a month. And we're all covered. Together.)

motherbumper said...

I'm just bustin' with pride to be able to say I know you girl - BECAUSE YOU WILL ROCK THEM.

amanda said...

Color me impressed!! And what better voice and example for the state senate to hear...

Julie said...

This is terrific.

And terrifying, I know, but you are doing this for your kid and for all those other kids and families and you will do great.

Anonymous didn't read very carefully -- you made and make great sense when I read you. You are so going to rock!

Redneck Mommy said...

You go girl.

And when you start to feel all cotton tongued and weak kneed, start thinking of that sweet girl of yours and some other mom feeling the exact same way you do.

That is what I always do just before I open my mouth at speaking engagements and thumping my stick for change.

I heart you.

Anonymous said...

Our health care situation is not good, But... As adults having children we need to plan ahead for all circumstances! If your child did not have special needs would you be able to afford health care? Is it the responsibilty of all americans to pay for all children? I guess this based on planning ahead. As we did. I also have a special needs child I never anticipated. But... would never change. I'm sorry for the position you are in and it does break my heart but our health care system has been what it it is for quite some time. We all need to take responsibiltiy for ourseleves and our children. When we make the decision to have them make sure we can properly insure them and take care of them... not depending on the goverment and others.

Kyla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Pippert said...

Kyla, fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Fantastic you'll do this, and fantastic post.

I'd be much more glad to see portions of my taxes go to provide preventive health care for kids than where much of it goes currently...and in this state? lately that's been right into politicians pockets, among other nasty spots.

InTheFastLane said...

I love those quotes! You will rock the state!

Katie said...

You go rock that thing MommaTar!

alejna said...

I'll be cheering for you, Kyla.

~aj~ said...

Oh wow Kyla...this is SO exciting! I'm thrilled you are going to have this opportunity. I have no doubt that you are going to do great.

I'm so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone to do this for KayTar and all the other children. You are so awesome!!

Kyla said...

Hi Anonymous,

Since you're anonymous, I don't know if you're a long time lurker or just popped over for this particular conversation. If you click on the tag at the bottom of this post marked "insurance", you'll be able to find the entire story which might clear up your questions. This link will do the trick, too.

I am not unwilling to pay. I do not expect someone else to foot my bill. I do, however, expect insurance to be AVAILABLE and ACCESSIBLE to my child, to all children, especially those medically in need of it. If our current plan shut down and the insurance companies will not accept my daughter and the high risk pool will not accept her, where does that leave us? And how can that be planned for? It can't be.

nomotherearth said...

You go girl! Show 'em what's what.

kittenpie said...

Kyla, I'm proud of you for this. And think how proud you will be after you do it. I bet you've done a lot of things the past couple of years that you never thought you would, so I know you can do this, too. It's tough, public speaking, but I've found that once you've done it a few times, it gets way easier, so between this and school, you'll get to where it's not such a big thing. I only hope you get more chances like this to speak up for this wrong.

mommamia said...

Kyla I think you are the perfect person to speak. You are living a nightmare. You had insurance and then you didn't and cannot get Kaytar covered. Many children both special needs and not are in this situation.

As you said there are things you cannot plan for and all children should have the right to healthcare.

I'm so proud of you.

carrie said...

You are going to move mountains, my friend.

Don't be afraid.

LisaStinnett said...

Your words are amazing, so no one will notice you're nervous...they'll just be in awe of you.

What a wonderful opportunity, Kyla! It's so exciting!

Aliki2006 said...

Thank god for you--I am so glad you're doing this.

We just got our claims for L.'s two visits to the Behavior & Nutrition clinics *denied*--we got the letters yesterday and are still reeling from it.

I hate this system.

Beck said...

I will pray that your words are HEARD by your... state people, and that good changes come as a result of them.

Lisa b said...

Kyla I have chills this is so exciting.
You are going to do a fabulous job.

You are a much nicer girl than I am as evidenced by your very polite responses to your very jerky anonymous commenters.

Christine said...

Knock 'em dead.

You're amazing!

Anonymous said...

Kyla, you can't always plan ahead for circumstances such as this and for someone to think its that simple is naive, not to mention a tad ignorant.People don't expect that the their coverage will be taken away. I feel you have done an amazing job trying to be part of the solution in the past few months, not just for your own situation but for many of others just like you. You should be very proud of yourself!

As far as the public speaking goes, you have been doing it for a while now in this forum, yes you may not be able to see our faces, but the vulnerability of opening up to a large audience is still here, you just speak with your fingers. Be proud of your voice and just imagine everyone naked!!

Nicole From Arlington! friend of DDM

womaninawindow said...

You are one very brave lady. I'm not sure what sort of motivation I would need to get up there. I fear public speaking too. It's big. I recognize in you real power because it takes just that to get the job done!

Bon said...

proud of you, Kyla.

Umby said...

You've responded so politely to anonymous' comments but my blood is still boiling. Everyone pays insurance with the intention of NOT using it. Nobody plans for these things. Most of us are lucky and pay more into the system than we'll ever take out. That's how we pay for the unlucky ones. And yes, even if parents are irresponsible deadbeats, the kids should get medical care.

Julie said...

What apparently anonymous does not get is the appalling state health care is in, in the US. Millions of kids don't have health care. We can spend billions of dollars yearly on the military -- more than the rest of the world combined -- but God forbid we insure that our most vulnerable citizens get a dime of taxpayer money. Sheesh.

Ben & Bennie said...

Kyla, be brave and courageous. I know you will. Despite having a background in performing in front of others, getting in front of legislators was completely different. But I got through it...EASILY.

Keep in mind that they are the jerks that have gotten our system into the mess that it's in. Think of Kyla. Think of Josh. Think of all of us across our nation that love your family and support you like we're all you best friend.

Look into their eyes, Kyla. Speak your mind like you are talking to your blog readers. And most important, be yourself. Elected people live on lies. It REALLY makes them uncomfortable when they have to confront the truth.

Ben & Bennie said...

Dumb me. I said think of Kyla...you know who I meant (Kaytar). Anon's comments had pissed me off.

Oh yeah...we forgot to plan for Ben to have Pallister Killian Syndrome when we got married. Damn, we should've prepared for THAT one. It certainly was on the radar...if it had covered the Milky Way.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh, I'm so proud of you Kyla. This is wonderful.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

You are my hero. For real.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Julie and I can be your practice audience and can cheer/jeer you as needed. I'll bring the wine.

Gretchen said...

YES! You go and kick some butt. The US needs to realize what they are doing to our children. All of them, but especially those with special needs!

Christine said...

you'll do great, love. really you will. this is big, important stuff. you can do this.

i know you can.