This is a cross-post from my other blog, How To Ace Life.
You don’t know my mom. She has been sick since November with what seems to be a large number of cysts in her abdomen. She is in a huge amount of pain but won’t go back to the doctor because it costs too much and she can’t really miss work. She works at the same place my step-dad used to work, which is very physically demanding. Her employer is too cheap to pay her well or give her benefits despite how hard she works for them – both on and off the clock.
A few years ago, I literally watched my mother die in front of me as a result of a miscarriage. We were lucky enough that they saved her life, but she never got the blood transfusion she needed or other necessary care. Why? Because she didn’t have insurance. As a result, her body does not function right often and her memory has been affected.
You don’t know my sister. Her life was altered drastically when she had a seizure last May. I was the only one with her and I swear she looked dead. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. As we were getting her into the ambulance, she was trying to get out of the stretcher, screaming that we couldn’t afford this. She was seventeen at the time and in a huge amount of pain, but was worried about the family financial situation more than herself. Her life was saved later when she also had to have an emergency appendectomy. We were lucky enough that she was on Badger Care because of her seizure. It’s odd how things work out sometimes.
You don’t know me. I lose insurance at the end of July from Carroll. To buy insurance on my own, because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, it would cost $1600 a month and not cover anything more than routine doctor’s visits – not medicines, tests, x-rays, physical therapy, etc. Medications can cost anywhere from $100 a bottle to $2500 a pill.
And you don’t know the people of America. There are families who are teetering on the edge of homelessness, having to make the choice between buying food and paying the bills. They don’t even have the money to think about getting insurance, let alone cover their children and themselves. The story of my family is odd, but not unique by any means.