My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Dear Mr President, am I covered? The challenges of our health care system

I needed to breathe, I felt faint, dizzy. I looked around wishing for a place to sit,  then, nothing, just blackness. When I came to, I was on the floor of the Marta train surrounded by curious faces. At the next stop I was ushered off the train and after waiting for a brief moment I was on my way to a hospital. As a paramedic fussed over me and did some tests, I felt unsettled, I had never fainted before.

When I got to the hospital I was hooked up to equipment and subjected to more tests. After the doctor told me what tests he was taking, I mentioned that the paramedic had already done some of those same tests, then I said the magic words, “I don’t have health insurance”. Suddenly, my physician started disconnecting the said equipment, and said “you don’t have any insurance, well, you look fine to me”. I was then released from the hospital still not knowing what was wrong.

That, Mr. President was my introduction to the US health care system. You see, I was new to this land of opportunity. I was a US citizen, who had lived on non-US soil into adulthood, and I had NEVER been refused health care. I was finally treated at another facility and found I had been dehydrated –my bill, greater than $1,000. That was about 13 years ago, I had been a student and had fainted on my way to The Art Institute.

Thankfully I am employed and have health coverage, but I can still remember the sense of helplessness, hopelessness and shame, not only from the lack of coverage, but the way I talked at, treated like an almost invisible annoyance that no one cared to deal with.

So I ask you, Mr. President, help restore some sense of dignity to those who need health coverage and are struggling to afford it. Remind those in congress, especially the Bible toting ones, that we have an obligation to help the widows, the orphans and the poor, even I do that. Compel them to wrap themselves in urgency because this cannot be prolonged.

WYMS (Wishing you much success),
Dona Halliday

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