Bob Idso is a long time friend, he was one of the many speakers at a Town Hall Meeting in Mankato, Mn.
He is a Viet Nam Vet and has been an active member of his community.
His story is just one of many we are hearing.
Unfortunately the Media chooses to only show the protesters opposed to changes in Health care and
the Fox news fear mongers
But at this town meeting every one was allowed to speak.
It's called Minnesota Nice.
This is an Editorial from The Rochester paper Monday August, 24,2009
One family's struggle says more than 1,000-page bill;
Prior to Thursday's town hall meeting in Mankato, a member of the Post-Bulletin's editorial board chatted with Eric Thronson, a Rochester resident who was waiting for the doors to open.
"This government is getting between my four kids and the American dream," he said, pulling a photo of his youngest child from his shirt pocket. "What's Obama's hurry? Why does he have to get everything done in his first 100 or 200 days in office? My dad was a farmer, a DFLer, and he wouldn't recognize this DFL."
Ten minutes later, Dave Blanchard, also of Rochester, expressed a different view. "I've got a granddaughter," he said. "I've got three daughters. I want to know that they're going to be able to afford health insurance for themselves and their kids. If we don't fix health care, it won't fix itself."
Two strong views, from people on either side of the political aisle, and each focused on their children.
Two hours later, an otherwise-boisterous crowd of 700 people sat in absolute silence as Bob Idso -- a resident of St. Peter, a veteran and a teacher at Mankato East High School -- took his turn talking about health care, children and a parent's nightmare.
His youngest child, Everett, is 20 years old and about to graduate from trade school. He has Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the intestines. When Everett graduated from high school, he weighed 99 pounds. He endured multiple hospitalizations and emergency room visits before a treatment program started working.
It involves a drug called Remicade, and it isn't cheap -- more than $7,000 per dose, administered every six weeks.
"It's the only thing that's been of any help to him," Bob Idso said later outside the auditorium. "But now, with his pre-existing condition, no insurance company will touch him, even if he does get a job. He tried to join the Army, but they wouldn't take him. He's thought about moving to Canada, even moving to Norway, just so he could get his treatments."
"We're desperate," Idso said with tears in his eyes -- and he wasn't alone. Several people came by to shake his hands, and there wasn't a dry eye among them.
As we look back on what we believe was an orderly, productive discussion on that drizzly evening in Mankato, we wonder how many of those present fully grasped the Idso family's desperation. Bob Idso couldn't care less which political party is able to claim victory if and when the dust settles on health care reform: All he cares about is finding a way for his son to lead a normal life that isn't dictated by the cost of medical care.
And really, that's what this nationwide debate should be about: quality of life, not just politics and dollars and cents.
Rep. Tim Walz had a lot to say on Thursday, and not all of it was well-received. He endured some boos and heckling, and more than a few times had to raise his voice to be heard over shouts from the crowd.
He admitted that he isn't fully sold on what many have dubbed "Obamacare." And on several occasions he stressed that until he sees a plan that is deficit-neutral and pays health-care providers for value, rather than on a fee-for-service basis, he won't sign on.
But his most important statement came in response to a young woman who had actually studied the reform bill and was concerned that the proposals it contains would disrupt the free-market health insurance industry, thus jeopardizing her current health plan.
Walz disagreed, and the two went back and forth for a bit about language in the bill, but then Walz made the most important point of the evening.
"We need to make a choice in this nation: Are we willing to have winners and losers in health care?" he asked, then answered his own question. "We can't treat health care as a commodity."
We have many unanswered questions about the health care reform plan. We don't know how it would be paid for, how it would be administered and how it would affect the insurance plans many of us enjoy. We hope that by the time Walz comes to Rochester for a town hall meeting -- next month, presumably -- some of the fuzziness in the current proposals will be replaced with specific details.
But we do know that right now, some people are losing in our health care system. Any reform plan that doesn't help people like Everett Idso won't be worth the paper it's printed on.