In September of the year 1620 in Plymouth, England an event took place that would change the shape of the world. A small ship, called the Mayflower, left Plymouth with a small amount of passengers – just 102 souls looking for religious freedom and the promise of land ownership. Only royalty were allowed to own land in England. It may not seem like such a big deal today when we can travel 3000 miles from New York to California in a few hours in an airplane. For that matter New York to London is also just a few hours by air. It took the Mayflower 66 days to reach the tip of Cape Cod. That landing put them a good deal north of their original destination which was the mouth of the Hudson River. The Mayflower dropped its anchor for one month and then crossed Massachusetts Bay and began establishing a village at Plymouth.
Sixty six days. No medical treatment. No doctors. No Medical Insurance. Heck, they didn’t need Medical Insurance because there really wasn’t any medical care. When they were leaving Plymouth and saying goodbye to their families, it was not goodbye, see you soon. It was goodbye forever. Just think about that for a minute. A mother might be saying goodbye to her married daughter. She knew that there would be no Medical Insurance as we know it today to help bring into the world any babies her daughter may have. No Medical Insurance to provide well care visits, or vaccinations. None of the things that Medical Insurance provides that we take for granted today. Just imagine leaving for a land that no one in your family had ever been to before. Saying goodbye to your family and friends knowing that you would never see them again. Embarking on a journey… well if you think about it they must have been so excited. You couldn’t think too long about the hazards because if you did no one would board the ship. They probably didn’t think for a moment about no medical care. Doctors, hospitals, Medical Insurance, immunizations, Medical Insurance premiums, were all completely unknown to them.
They couldn’t have known then that only about half of the Mayflower’s original passengers would live to see spring. Even though most of the pilgrims stayed aboard ship that first brutal winter they suffered from exposure, scurvy, and outbreaks of contagious disease. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what Medical Insurance does for us. We fail to realize the awesome care, for all its faults, that Medical Insurance provides for ourselves and our loved ones.
In November of 1621 Governor William Bradford ordered a celebratory feast in honor of the first successful corn harvest. The Native American tribes called the Wampanoag were invited to share in the feast. America’s first “Thanksgiving” lasted for three days. In some ways it must have been kind of pleasant without Medical Insurance. There were no warnings from Medical Insurance carriers to watch your cholesterol, don’t eat too many sweets, and for heaven’s sake don’t over eat.