Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Since the likelihood of an Obama representative reading this blog is very slight, I can pretty much say anything I want. But that isn't what I'm going to do. The fact is, I have no idea what I think about Obama as the man. I wasn't caught up in his charisma during the campaign because I didn't see a lot of substance coming from his campaign. I've had to reverse course a little now that I've researched him some more, and I've realized that there are some things to be hopeful for, and as this is a day for hope and Alicia and I write about hope on our blog, it's time to discover Barack Obama.

On such a historic day, when we might finally put some light on the shadow of racial division in our country, I am fascinated by what the future may hold for my family and yours. There are two primary things I want from an Obama administration as it relates to Cystic Fibrosis (and other diseases). They are as follows:

  • Increases Newborn Screenings:

Obama rightly points out on his website that each state tests for certain things during newborn screenings, but rarely do all states test for all 29 of the American College of Medical Genetics recognized disorders. The new President would like to change this, creating an across-the-board program where all states will test for all things. Here is an excerpt from his website:

<>“Roughly 90 percent of infants in the United States are screened for various potentially disabling or life-threatening conditions, but fewer than half the states screen all infants for the American College of Medical Genetics’ full recommended panel of 29 disorders. Many of these conditions, if caught early, can be treated before they result in permanent impairments or even death. And parents are often unaware that the tests are available. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we should ensure that all states have comprehensive newborn screening programs.” <>

This is especially important to us. Had Samantha, our CF daughter, been born in Little Rock (where I had been stationed 2 months before her birth) or in a civilian hospital in California, it might have been months before her CF would have been diagnosed. If it weren't for Dr. W. at our military hospital, it might have taken an eternity of hopeless nights to find out why she kept losing weight and why she had a mysterious cough.

I don't want any mother and father going through that, for any disease. I hope President Obama will make this a priority.
  • Improved Health Care system:
I've never had to think too much about health care because I'm in the military, and my health care and the health care of my family is covered by the US Government. It's an enviable position, so says my father, who has had to worry about insurance costs all of his adult life. Now that I have a daughter who has a disease, I think I understand. While I won't have to pay a great deal while she is my dependent, the fact now exists (a beautiful fact) that CF is an adult disease. Since most patients are living into their adulthood, my daughter will have to address the cost of her disease. We need to have a president who will finally move forward on this. I don't think it matters what your political affiliation is...something needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon. Too many CF families are having trouble paying for things.

You can read from Obama's website on what he plans to do about health care.

No matter how you feel about Obama the man, the fact is that his administration ushers in hope for some things on the disease front. Real change, if it occurs, might be more possible with him than anyone else. I am not a personal fan of his, but he will go a long way to solidifying a legacy if he can push some of these things through.

Best wishes and good luck Sir.


Jennifer said...

A wonderful message of hope in what I personally view as a great day in our country. Thank you for sharing your views.

ZoeForLife said...

Very nice post Dan! Our youngest daughter, Zoe, is four and has CF. I am a former Marine and have been a civilian for 16 years now. I look forward to the future and truly hope for the best.... but I have been to many places throughout the world and I know for a fact, via my own eyes and history, that socialism does not work... period. And along with socialism, comes a nationalized/socialized health care system..... that's a proven failure as well. We'll see what happens.... either way, our daughter's health care is mine and my wife's responsibility and we will do whatever it takes for her to receive the best possible care..... her very precious life depends upon it. Again.... nice post... let's hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Scott