Michele Chestnut is a wife and mother of four children. She and her husband don’t do drugs, they love their children and each other and they try to live their lives as good citizens.
But Chele’s husband has been laid off his job and his unemployment really isn’t enough to pay for health insurance, although it’s too much for her to be eligible for Medicaid. Now it’s too late for her to get health insurance.
Chele has thyroid cancer, a very treatable disease — if one can gain access to treatment.
Her oncologist is willing to work with her, but her endocrinologist is not. The office demands payment before she leaves and refuses to bill her.
Chele will be eligible for Medicaid again, but the endocrinologist doesn’t want to wait. So she can’t get the treatment she needs to save her life.
“Now I know how other cancer patients feel with no medical insurance,” she writes. “If we could pay for medical insurance, we would! Someone tell me how you can pay for medical insurance… when you need the house over your head. You need the food on the table. You need clothes on your children. You need the car to go look for work. And you can’t even pay for those things. You also have thoughts of how you really should have some life insurance at this point, but we cannot afford to have it.”
Chele worries about what will happen to her children if she dies. Her cancer is very treatable, but she has to have access to the treatment or she will die.
We’re giving huge tax breaks to the rich, but we can’t get care for a young mother who should be able to live a long life and see her children grow up.
Chele Chestnut could become one of the 45,000 who die every year from lack of insurance; if something isn’t done, she will be.
Check out Michele’s blog at: http://www.thebonafidelife.net/2010/12/09/what-the-government-needs-to-hear/