Dear Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor & Kagan,
I hope this letter finds you all in good health and well. I am writing to you because I know you have a great decision before you regarding Healthcare Reform, or as it’s more commonly known, Obamacare. I can only imagine the weight that each of you before handing down your decisions on each law and piece of legislature. No matter how you vote, you know that your single decision will affect millions of people in some way, negative or positive. I do not presume to believe that I could ever stand in any of your shoes, just as I cannot expect someone to understand how to walk a day in mine. But since your vote on Obamacare will affect me directly, I would like to give you an idea of what it is to walk a day in mine.
Now I will not insult you by defending the fact that I do not live off the government, do not want insurance or that I am not a responsible citizen. I know that there are a lot of ignorant statements floating around about people who benefit from Obamacare, but I have full confidence in high court and those who sit on it’s bench. I can say with full faith that you are beyond propaganda & rhetoric. What you could be wondering is why someone like me watched the Senate vote and cried when it was passed? Why does Obamacare mean so much to the average American? Well, like I said before I cannot expect you to understand unless you walk a mile in my shoes. You may not be able to walk a whole mile, but I can give you a vivid description.
About four years ago in the middle of shooting a television show, of which I was the Production Coordinator, I passed out into the arms of one of my camera men. I had been suffering with crazy symptoms for a while that seemed to be getting worse. I thought it was poor diet. I soon found out that I had been suffering from Ulcerative Colitis on the left side. The doctors believed that I had developed this disease in college. I had finally worked enough to be able to get some health coverage. As soon as the health insurance company found out that I been diagnosed with UC, they decided that I had omitted that information on my application and I was dropped. My mother was buying my prednisone and pain medication and my doctor was able to give me samples of my medications. I paid cash for my colonoscopies and spent a little over a month and half on my mothers couch recovering. As soon as I could I jumped up and went back to work holding down two jobs.
The following year I became pregnant with my son. I was working and pregnant and uninsured. My colitis flared up due to stress and improper care during my first trimester. Because of my pregnancy I was able to get some insurance, but I was deemed a high risk pregnancy, so I had to be on a semi-bed rest. I was not able to see a GI and my OBGYN was not at all familiar with my UC disease. 12 weeks post-partum I flared up and my insurance ran out. Between becoming a new mom, the surge of hormones and personal stress, I became extremely ill. I was able to pay cash to visit a GI and get a new prescription for prednisone and medication. My prescription bills spiked to an average $300 a month until the following May when I almost lost my life. I was completely dehydrated, mal nourished and suffering from symptoms I didn’t even know were associated with UC. I was hospitalized, medicated and saved. But my medical bills and prescription bills were putting me and my family in a hole. We were trying to survive with a new baby and one income coming into the home. My illness prevented me from working. Being someone who was used to working, it felt strange and un-American that there were opportunities open for me and I couldn’t take them because I was ill. I was ill because I couldn’t get proper medical attention. I had to take 9 pills a day of just maintenance medication. A regular bottle only lasted me 3 weeks and cost $375 per bottle. I found myself trying to stretch my medication which only made me sick. It was a vicious cycle I couldn’t get out of!
Now because of Obamacare, if I can pay the premium then an insurance company cannot say no to me anymore! With health insurance I can get proper medical care. When I get proper medical care I stay healthy. When I stay healthy I work. When I work I help do my part in boosting the economy. There is no reason why an American who votes, pays her taxes, and works should not get proper health coverage just because she has a disease she cannot help. I didn’t give myself Ulcerative Colitis. I didn’t do anything to give myself Ulcerative Colitis. All I want to do is be here to watch my son grow up and raise him to be a great citizen. I want to be able to work and support myself and my family. As a citizen of the greatest country in the world I shouldn’t have to worry about that. I’m not asking for a handout. I’m not asking for my government to take care of me. I’m just asking that I not be segregated and thrown away because of my disease. Denying someone health coverage because of a pre-existing condition makes NO sense. We are the ones that need the coverage the most!
So I ask that all of you take all the stories like mine into consideration. How can we continue to be a great nation of most of our citizens cannot work because they are too sick? The more citizens who have proper medical care, will be able to contribute physically and financially to this nation. We cannot be a successful nation if we are not a healthy nation. Please don’t away Healthcare Reform. I’m probably one of thousands of stories about insurance rejection. It shouldn’t be. It can’t be. It’s un-American.