Today, in the United States of America we are celebrating a national holiday, the anniversary of the declaration of our independence as a nation. Our exceptional country, founded as a nation that protects personal freedom and liberty for all citizens. I am, without excuse or apology, both a lupus patient and a patriot! As a lupus patient, I also celebrate and thank God for many things in our country that impact lupus patients positively.
Many things together have helped make our country the most favorable place in the world to live as a lupus patient, and these all contribute greatly to the health and quality of treatment of people with chronic illnesses, such as lupus:
- Available medical care from the best system of well-trained doctors in the world
- Liberty to choose which doctor I will visit and choice to see any doctor on my health insurance plan, or to pay extra if I can afford it to see another doctor or specialist of my choosing
- Protection from discrimination due to illness or disability, protection for my medical privacy, and protection of my job when lupus interrupts my ability to work through laws like the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Health Care Insurance Information and Portability Act
- Drug companies that offer programs to pay the co-pays and drug costs for patients that need help
- Bankruptcy laws that protect me from financial slavery in the event I cannot pay unexpectedly huge medical or other bills
- Social Security and Medical Care funded by other taxpayers for persons who are unable to work because of disability
- Open access to public libraries and internet medical information sites provided free of charge
- Attorneys in our legal system that aid patients with navigating the disability application process, and are paid only if and when they help secure a patient’s benefits
- Lawyer’s professional ethics requirements that they donate a certain percentage of their work to people who cannot pay for their services, such as underemployed or unemployed lupus patients or others with limited resources
- Special parking laws, placards and plates that give close access to buildings for disabled persons and require wheelchair access everywhere
- Communities all over our country that fund no-cost or reduced-cost transportation for disabled citizens
- Major retail corporations and pharmacies that willingly offer lists of hundreds of common medications at low ($4 to $5) costs
- Tax exempt status for non-profit organizations such as The Lupus Foundation of America, and its many local chapters that support lupus patients, lupus research and support services and for lupus patients, by encouraging benevolent tax-free giving by citizens and corporations
- Federal and state tax laws that give deductions for high medical treatment and transportation costs
And lastly, I celebrate the wisdom of the voters in all of our great states, who watch the ongoing decisions of their elected representatives.
We cast our ballots in local and national elections and exercise our liberty to check any failure to represent our wishes.
We have the recurring ability as voters to correct any dangerous or uneven balances of power that could harm our freedom or well-being as citizens of this great nation.
God bless the adventure of freedom in our great nation!
God Bless America!