In 1985, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, and I had just started my nonprofit career at Dismas House. As a recent college graduate, I recall filling out my paperwork, completeing insurance forms and I thought, “Insurance? Why do I need insurance? I’m healthy, no dependents, I’m not planning to get sick.”
Then I realized that I was still under my father’s insurance plan and would soon lose coverage since I was no longer a college student. All of a sudden, insurance was a priority, just in case I ever needed it.
Fast forward to 2013, the Royals are finally in a playoff chase that may take them to the World Series. I’m married now and enjoy watching baseball with my two young children. I no longer have second thoughts about insurance coverage. Being insured means more than access; it is one less thing that I have to worry about in raising a family. And, the U.S. is on its way to ensuring that more Americans have access to health insurance.
Since 1985 much has changed in our health world, and in neighborhoods across this city. But the pressing health needs that existed then, exist even more so today.
As one who works in philanthropy, the challenges at times seem insurmountable, with solutions sometimes too slow. Patience is required. When I first started my career in 1985, I didn’t realize how long it would take for us to be where we are today, that health care for all is still our goal and challenge. I also didn’t think it would take this long to make another serious run for a baseball championship.
But now here we are, the future of the Royals and our nation’s health care look awfully bright.