I’m working on a blog post about children’s health diaries in MHS collections and I came across the following in a letter from Dr. Mary Putnam to Helen C. Morgan, 10 December 1923:
Tell me how [Carter, Helen’s son] is and what you do, and don’t work too hard. I don’t see how Peggy gets her health insurance! Two companies turned me down, without looking at me, because I have had grippe twice! I decided to be satisfied with accident!*
Ninety years later, on 10 December 2013, a pediatrician like Mary, buying health insurance on her own, would be protected from denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.The Affordable Healthcare Act is far from perfect, but I’m surely glad that we’re better able to provide for many more Mary Putnams of this world so that they no longer have to be “satisfied with accident.”
Now let’s fix the coverage gap so that everyone can access healthcare when they need it, without going bankrupt.
*Mary Putnam to Helen C. Morgan, 10 December 1923, Allen H. Morgan Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.