The Punishment of Living
I wasn’t an angel child. I got in trouble every now and again. But I never ditched school. I didn’t lie to my parents. I didn’t commit crimes. I’ve never been arrested. I volunteer & donate to charity. I’m raising my child. I help out my community. I am a good person. I’m not perfect, but I’m not worthy of the type of discrimination being thrown my way. My civil rights & freedoms being stripped. Not because of my gender or race. But because I am a patient with a chronic illness. My right to a better quality of life is being taken away from me.
Today, I received a letter from my prescription insurer, Aetna Medicare. And it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. For the fourth time, my medication related to IBD & it’s extra-intestinal manifestations, have been declined. After being properly treated for my UC by amazing doctors & surgeons, I am now back to the bottom of the barrel. Scraping cash together to make sure I will stay healthy enough to live the best life I can live for my son. Rationing meds, blowing through savings & credit cards, missing days of work that I can’t afford to miss…I’m back to square one. And it’s not because of Obamacare. No. It’s because people in Congress, in the White House, in the executive offices of insurance companies are all thinking of their bottom lines. The patients, the American citizens who pay their salaries, are not in the forefront of their minds. Employees in all three of these sections of work, will continue to have their healthcare, while we tweet partisan heavy arguments back and forth at each other. Senators with chronic illnesses are not up at 2:30am thinking of how bad their symptoms will get, if maybe they only take a 1/2 the dose to extend the medication. You know why? Because no matter how they vote and change our lives, their healthcare will stay the same.
I am furious. I am scared. I am ashamed. I am feeling guilty. I am sad. I am not going to shut up. I refuse to die at the hand of congress. I refuse to be patronized in to silence. We are human beings. If you are working and contributing to society, there is no excuse as to why you cannot put food on the table, clothe your children, provide a comfortable home and have health coverage that will maintain your health. So that you can contribute to society. I promise you, it is more expensive on the tax payer to have a thousand, me’s, sick than it is to provide affordable healthcare. The language used by Congress to scare people into believing lies about something that wouldn’t fit into their partisan rhetoric, is ethically repugnant and disgusting. The fact that we are allowing insurance companies to punish sick Americans, is absolutely shameful. What part of freedom and patriotism is this?
I cannot go back to the days when an insurance company can tell me that I am too much of a risk to insure, no matter the cost. I lost everything…everything, except for my child. But my career, my relationship, my car, my home and some of my organs, were all taken from me because I was unable to have proper health care. I was rationing meds and draining my bank account just to stay alive for my kid. For both of our sakes, I cannot go back to that. I will continue to fight for my rights and others. We will no longer be silent or discriminated against. We will no longer be punished for living.