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I've seen Health Care here in the US from different angles. I had a full time job for a long time that gave me "benefits", those benefits included great Health Care. When I first got in I had no idea what this meant, or that I really had it good. I only paid about $20 co-pays for doctor visits, I had no deductible, I had almost no worries! In fact, I had my first son while I had that job so I didn't have to worry about any medical bills regarding my pregnancy, just co-pays which were easy to pay. Maybe a total of $300 for the whole pregnancy and birth and then my son was covered, too. It was nice.

As soon as I left my job to be self-employed and work part-time, I knew that our Health insurance situation was going to be very different, but I didn't really know the exact difference. Now, after a couple of years I understand a lot more.

After leaving the job with “benefits,” I wanted to have another baby but I was worried about the cost since I had insurance through my new part-time job but it was very basic, like only one visit per year allowed and it covered only $300 per year for lab tests, and so on. This is when I realized how good I had it before!

Even with these restrictions we decided to go ahead and have a baby. We couldn't let that stop us because it just seemed unreal. It was the only part of our decision that was stopping us. Shouldn't there be at least an option? Depending on how much you can afford, then here is where you can go? It would be nice to receive the care that you need at a rate you can afford. Just go to this other doctor/hospital, but you still get good care.

At the moment, many medical bills after, the system doesn't allow for a reasonable option for us. My husband works full time and has benefits, but only for him (keeping in mind he won't get terribly sick and incur any surgery costs) because including us would mean having to pay almost his whole salary per month!

I opted out of the insurance I have available through my job because I'm not pregnant and I don't get sick often. I rather take that monthly money and use it for something else, like health insurance for the kids who really need it at this point in their lives, which of course was really hard to find and it is not cheap so we ended up qualifying for the Healthy Families program. And I don't know how long this will last, see, if we get more income soon (and of course we are working towards this!) then we won't qualify. But at the same time we won't have enough income to pay another health insurance on our own. There is no middle ground.

That's why I am very excited that because of health reform, middle income families like mine will start to get help to buy health insurance in 2014 so that we don't have to choose between buying health insurance for ourselves or our kids. I know that the new health reform is still the first step and it is not perfect, but little by little it will be much better. I trust that soon my kids will have a better health system, one with more options, one that they can rely on and one that they can trust. A Health Care option that doesn't depend on jobs or on maybe luck.

Dariela Cruz is founder and publisher of the Mami Talks blog.

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