My autistic children deserve equal access to education and healthcare. I never thought I would need to say that, but the current political landscape suggests otherwise. What troubles me most is that caring for our children isn’t a political issue. It’s a common sense, common dignity, basic right to access type of issue.
My two children are on the autism spectrum. My eldest child has additional medical issues. The prospect that they may be denied healthcare based on their diagnoses angers and terrifies me. They have their entire lives ahead of them! The possibility that they might experience discrimination in school due to their autism diagnosis is unacceptable. It should be unacceptable to all of us. All children deserve access to education, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religion, orientation or disability.
I do not want the government in all aspects of my life, either; however, if the government does not protect children’s civil rights, then who will? The government exists to serve and protect. It functions as a vehicle to protect the least of us.
We don’t need to believe in big government to believe that all children deserve equal access.
Do we not all agree on the values of access to education and healthcare? I believe that every person has a right to healthcare. The socioeconomically advantaged do not deserve better healthcare than an underprivileged child or a middle-class adult. I believe that every child has a right to a free and public education. A physical, mental or learning disability should not disqualify a child from receiving that education, even if he or she may require modifications for accessibility.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Could the ACA be better? Yes. Did the ACA make important progress? For the 20 million people who are now insured and for the unknown number of people with preexisting conditions that were denied access, charged discriminatory rates, or put into expensive high-risk pools, the ACA provided life-saving access to healthcare.
Why are we denying millions of people healthcare? Why are we taking away the right to access healthcare for individuals with disabilities?
We can work together to improve the ACA without dismantling the aspects that benefit millions of Americans.
When did we start dismissing the rights of those less fortunate? When did we stop working together for the common good? When did we stop listening and start name-calling?
Our children are depending on us. Even when we feel powerless, there is action we can take. Contact your elected representatives. Make your voice heard. The stakes are too high.