The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



A plea to a mostly competent student body: True Reform

Aidan Fitzgerald | Wednesday, March 24, 2010

As a survivor of testicular cancer I feel that I have a unique perspective on the issue of health care reform. I was lucky enough to survive three rounds of chemo and two surgeries only to receive two titles. The first title, “the uni-baller” is a fun little ditty my friends like to pull out at parties. Obviously a winner and an overall crowd pleaser. (If you didn’t laugh at my self-deprecation you either have no soul and/or are probably a ginger.) The second title, however, is much more serious. Seeing as I survived this tango with testicular cancer, I inherited the title of “pre-existing condition.” Ironically, this title means that the same private insurance which helped save my life will help to make health care completely unaffordable to me as a private citizen, unless I receive it as compensation from an employer. As you can imagine this is a sobering reality which helps me to recognize the NEED for a reformed health care and health insurance system.

Now before you write me off as a communist, hell bent on destroying American capitalism, note that I openly admit that it was my parents’ private insurance which helped save my life, and it was my parents’ fiscal conservatism which allowed them to procure an excellent insurance plan. Also seeing as I am a staunch subscriber to the pragmatic benefits of capitalism, I can assure you that I don’t want to throw money at the severely wounded, almost defunct, federal spending structure. Frankly, as an American taxpayer I am insulted by Congress’ most recent “reform” bill, which merely exacerbates the existing problem by not addressing the underlying cost drivers of the care delivery and incentive system.

My plea to you, as the leaders of tomorrow (trite phrasing, I know), is that you educate yourself not with the dogmatic seepage which spews so freely from the mouths of political hacks, but with information provided by the true experts who are largely ignored in this intellectually advanced endeavor. If you fail to understand the true problem, this great nation will accelerate down the dark hole of debt and despair, regardless of any proposed solution offered by partisan politicians. The impact of Congress’ decisions is not limited to your Mommy or Daddy’s bank account (or mine for that matter), but has a real, and lasting effect on people with illnesses and pre-existing conditions like myself. Until you grasp the reality of the situation and educate yourself to a sufficient level of competence, please refrain from insulting the millions of Americans who have to live with my same fears by publically and vociferously uttering your callous and ignorant opinions of the vastly complex health care delivery system.


Aidan Fitzgerald
March 23