I’ve been thinking about health care a lot lately. I think I’ve grown into a person that takes the health insurance I currently have for granted. Over the past 2 years we had 4 emergency room visits with the kids. Two of those visits were injuries requiring immediate attention. Oliver was running and fell on a stick and impaled his throat. One was when my dog knocked Oliver over into a kitchen cabinet and he needed to get stitches. One visit was a freak neck infection Oliver got which would have been fatal if left untreated. The last one was when Max wouldn’t stop crying and throwing up so we got worried something was wrong. Turns out he was just collicky so it was a total mom fail, but hey, we got some peace of mind on that one. I was pregnant last year and since Oliver was a premature baby I had to go in weekly for an injection to help Max along during the last 2 trimesters. When Max was born he was jaundice for the first 5 days of his life so I had to take him to the hospital everyday to have new labs done. After Max was born I had two tests come back abnormal. I ended up having a LEEP procedure done to prevent spread of cervical cancer. My husband had a vasectomy. He also has a monthly prescription. Both my kids had multiple wellness visits. Oliver recently was diagnosed with autism. In order to get a diagnosis you must have multiple evaluations done by multiple doctors. Now he receives 30 hours of ABA therapy as a treatment for autism. My sister in law died last year and I started seeing a counselor to help me through that difficult time. When I break it down into these terms it makes me realize that health insurance is absolutely imperative to have a thriving family. In the past 2 years my family has needed coverage in 9 out of the 10 Essential Health Benefits. One of the 9 we used is preventive health services. Within this category my family needed coverage in 9 of the 27 required procedures including autism, vision, and hearing screenings (see the links below to learn more). I can’t believe all this in just 2 years. If I didn’t have adequate health insurance it’s undeniable that my children wouldn’t have the quality of life that they enjoy now. Should a child with autism continue to struggle to acclimate to the world on his own if his family cannot afford health insurance? Should a mother who suffers from postpartum depression be denied affordable prescriptions? Should a family go into financial ruin because their adventurous toddler decided to jump off the playground toy and got injured? I think the answer is a resounding no. Healthcare is a right and children deserve to receive the care they need regardless of their parents financial situation. My family is not out of the norm. My family is proof of the importance of quality health insurance for everyday families.