Dear Friends who are Against Obamacare,
I have heard a lot of unsettling things on Facebook and Twitter since the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare and the individual mandate. I have seen things posted on various friends’ social media accounts like this:
I know you think that Obamacare is just a way to hand out health insurance to the undeserving, while hardworking Americans get screwed over. I am here to tell you something and I want you to REALLY think about it. Really take what I say to heart, and tell me you are okay with getting rid of Obamacare.
Thanks to Obamacare, Ashtyn, Robert and Sylvia will soon be able to have healthcare. None of them have it now and none of them can afford it. Ashtyn makes too much for them to have it. She is considered Middle Class. If she were to quit her job, Robert would qualify for Medicaid and Sylvia and Ashtyn could get insurance for low income people, here in Montgomery County. She doesn’t wish to do that, simply because she doesn’t wish to rely on the government, while being forced to live in poverty to get essential services all three of them need.
Ashtyn, who has dedicated the last ten years of her life to taking care of me 24/7. Ashtyn who is there for whatever I need. She’s the woman who has slept in hospital chairs next to my hospital bed for two operations, holds my hand when I have bandages changed, strokes my hair when I am screaming and writhing in pain. She’s seen my blood, guts, sweat and tears and still stays with me.
She’s endured seeing me go from very physically capable to needing help with almost all my ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). She’s the one who’s wiped my ass when I’ve been sick, held the bucket when I’ve felt the urge to puke, and cleaned up any and every mess I make. She also has a full time job, and works various other side jobs. She’s probably made you some delicious baked good, at some point. Ashtyn has put her dreams aside to go with me to my film class and take notes when needed.
She’s been on every single film set with me and often does the cinematography herself. When she started, she had no working knowledge of cameras. She has been a vocal advocate of me and for every right I’ve fought to attain. She’s the one who hears a friend has been robbed and takes some of our video game collection to give them, knowing it can never replace what they’ve lost but at least they have something. She’s the one who puts her family before herself – giving money, love, support while putting her own needs and priorities aside.
She is also someone with a thyroid condition. It’s prevented her from losing weight, has caused high blood pressure, constant exhaustion, problems with her hormones, and various other medical issues. While she should be going to get bloodwork regularly, with no insurance, she has been unable to find the right dosage of medicine to help alleviate her thyroid symptoms. She feels just good enough to function, most days. She buys her blood tests and goes to the doctor when she can.
This may mean once a year or once every six months, but it isn’t what she needs to help combat a condition that has affected her daily life. She still manages to take care of me, work, help on my film sets, and homeschool Robert, but she cannot take care of herself the way she should because insurance is so expensive for her, right now, she is incapable of paying for it.
Robert is Bi Polar. That is his big issue. He also is autistic. Without medication daily, he cannot function. It’s medication that costs about $2000 a month. It’s medication we have to pay for out of pocket, because Robert does not have medical insurance. Robert is a kid. He has disabilities. We know that. With medication, he is better able to do the things he needs to survive. He has a kind heart and has dreams of writing books and making movies. He tries to help others he knows need help.
However, his medical care is tenuous at best.. Right now, Robert cannot take care of himself enough to be able to move out and live on his own – something I believe he will one day be able to attain with the right medical care, access, and support. Ash cannot afford to pay for his medicine and therapy out of pocket, but he cannot function without his medication, so for now, he is out of therapy.
It has made it difficult for him to move forward with becoming more independent. His meds are just so expensive, and seeing as he has a pre-existing condition, no insurance would take him on until Obamacare passed. Now, they will take him on, but it is so expensive, and they won’t pay for his medicine, his therapy or anything else mental health related, so we’d still be paying for everything out of pocket. Now, with the credits Ash will get, we’ll be able to afford an insurance that WILL pay for the services Robert needs. Robert is a KID with dreams, and his dreams are halted because of lack of money for medical care. No kid should go through that.
Sylvia is a pain in my ass. There is no doubt about that. She personifies everything that mother in laws are. She is annoying and nagging, but she also makes sure if I want or NEED anything, I have it. She is the single mom who raised two kids, singlehandedly, without a cent of child support. She had multiple jobs until she was laid off seven years ago, and she now stays home to help us take care of Robert.
She also physically could not handle the kinds of jobs she had (factory work, waitressing) due to her health issues. Too young to qualify for Medicare and not currently on disability, she is the one who has helped make all those delicious baked goods you’ve eaten. She’s lugged my film equipment all around Dayton (along with Ash), sat on my sets, cooked up delicious foods as she caters all my films serving as craft services and bought all that food – sometimes with her own money.
She also has severe arthritis in her hips and wrist that sometimes prevent her from walking without holding on to something. She has to take medication for various other health problems that often develop due to family history, as a person ages. She has no insurance.
Her medicine gets more expensive each month. She never feels well, but cannot afford to go to the doctor. She goes when she can and we have to pay out of pocket. She has paid her dues, working since she was a YOUNG teen until she was in her 50s, sometimes working two or three jobs, just to make ends meet. She deserves better. She has helped us by staying home with Robert so Ash and I can go to school and follow our dreams. She also has a pre-existing condition (arthritis), and isn’t a child so until the regulations for Obamacare prevent insurance from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, they want to charge an insane amount of money for her to have any type of insurance.
Do any of these people sound like freeloaders to you? Do any of them sound lazy, worthless, or undeserving of having healthcare? None of them can get healthcare because of pre-existing conditions. Ash could maybe afford it for herself, but all her extra cash has to go to paying for medication and other health-related costs for Robert. She has no choice but to not have healthcare to afford it for the rest of the family, out of pocket.
This also meant that when Robert got sick, earlier this year, she was unable to take him to the doctor. She tried to treat it with conventional, non-antibiotic methods (soup, juice, natural supplements), but he developed an infection internally and had to be taken to the hospital. This would have been prevented had she been able to just take him to the doctor, but instead she is just finally paying off the bill for the hospital visit, several months later. We have to pick and choose when to go to the doctor and hope it doesn’t lead to further or worse illness. Nobody should be forced to make that decision.
Ash is hardworking, dedicated, and one of the most caring friends you will ever have. How can you say she and her family are lazy and don’t deserve insurance? Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, within the next year, all three can finally AFFORD to have insurance, and hopefully, all of their health problems will be better treated, so they can live happier, more productive and worthwhile lives.
P.S. Ash paid over 20% of her income, last year, to taxes (that was with deductions). Well, she’s actually on a payment plan, because she couldn’t afford to pay for it all out of pocket. She will be paid off, hopefully next month, but it just goes to show how those who pay in the most get screwed over the most by the government