This isn’t the first letter I’ve sent to my congressman over the past few months. I made the decision to share it on here as a way of sharing my view with a larger audience and (hopefully) make me harder to ignore.
Dear Congressman Gibbs, Speaker Ryan and President Trump,
I started this letter last week, but like the bill it is written to protest it was shelved. I haven’t been extremely interested in the Obamacare repeal. I’m not not in danger of losing coverage. I have health insurance through my employer, and I haven’t seen my rates skyrocket.
But my girlfriend is a different matter. She only recently managed to get health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. It’s a lucky thing she did because two weeks ago she she suffered a seizure at work, fell and hit her head. Whereas others would suffer a bruise or concussion from this type of accident, she managed to do heavy damage to her brain. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s had several head injuries in the past, because she suffers from gastroparesis or if she was just unlucky; but she did enough damage to her skull that she’s spent the interim in a bed at Akron General Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
She is someone who works hard to make her way in the world, but due to these medical problems the bills have piled up. A few months ago she told me she was considering bankruptcy. Now that she’s in the hospital it has fallen on me to look after her financial matters. I think we’ll be able to catch up with what she already owes, but I’m concerned about the bill we will be receiving for her current treatment.
As I said at the beginning, I was hesitant to write this letter. I don’t want to make a political issue of this hardship. It was a relief to learn repeal had stalled because I was confident that, while this is certainly a difficult situation and will take a lot of work to overcome, we would be OK. Now that there’s a law being considered to take away her insurance I’m not so sure. Who will be paying for this hospital stay when that happens? Will they kick her out? Should I start calling bankruptcy lawyers?
These are all questions that weigh heavily on my mind. I don’t want to become someone who goes broke due to an illness, but it looks like that’s exactly what will happen.
I urge you to vote against this bill. All you will accomplish is to make a situation that’s already hard even more difficult.
Perhaps we should take a page from the Trump handbook. Maybe we’ll send the bill to the President, Speaker of the House and you. But, just like that big, beautiful wall I’m sure we’ll end up footing the bill and we’ll probably have to file for bankruptcy.