I am no stranger to the medical industry complex. Being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25 exposed me to the harsh realities of life at an early age. It wasn't just about surviving the illness. It was also about learning to navigate the waters of insurance, sick leave at work, and coming to understand that no one would ever want to sell me life insurance because of my pre-existing condition. (I surprised them by beating the odds. They lost out on premiums for a lot of years since then.)
As the Affordable Care Act in our country continues to be debated, I am sensitive to the needs, the desires, and the costs that come with quality healthcare. While the partisan bickering gets old pretty quickly, I can relate to the enormity of the project that stands before our legislators. Creating a system of healthcare that is affordable, equitable, just, and of high quality is a tall order. Unfortunately, this would be a monumental task under the best of circumstances. Trying to get something accomplished in the midst of power struggles, political maneuvering, and the toxic culture of Washington, D.C. is almost impossible. Once again, it is the people of this great country that suffer the consequences.
While I have no control of the bureaucratic red tape surrounding healthcare, I do have control of acknowledging all of those who labor in the medical field--doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, radiologists, pharmacists, phlebotomists, administrators, support personnel, office staff, chaplains, gift shop workers, cafeteria workers, security personnel, and any other department I may have missed in our hospitals, medical offices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, etc. Let us not forget the volunteers either.
The Church has been instrumental in caring for the sick for centuries. I want to take just a moment today to say, "THANK YOU" to all who work in the medical field. Your skill, your compassion, and your dedication is appreciated by those of us on the receiving end of your care. Whether you work in a clinic, a hospital, home healthcare, hospice, or as a first responder, I hope you find immense joy and fulfillment in your ministry of healing and hope. May God bless you abundantly!