I am a disabled American who lives on a fixed income. Social Security and Medicare are two key components that support my ability to live and function. Let me re-type that. To live and function. What separates me from being homeless and without medication, is my ability to get Social Security and Medicare support.
I live in a 350 square foot studio unit. I drive a used Honda. I have very minimal material possessions. I live within my means. Trust me when I say, I am not balling by any means.
A splurge on a bottle of wine is big spending. My entertainment budget is my Comcast bill. A class every three months has to be saved for. Extra’s are usually unexpected gifts. My Christmas is saved for all year. I am a discerning shopper. What I have I am grateful for. My life is the reason I write a gratitude blog. It keeps me grounded in reality.
As word comes out of Washington the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being repealed, Social Security is being privatized, and the top cabinet members of our new government are billionaires multiple times over — I get the distinct feeling that someone like me is not very important. And there are many “me’s” in the United States of America.
My plan if the ACA is repealed, or I lose my benefits, will be to go back to how it used to be for people who couldn’t afford to be seen or pay for their medications.
Instead of me paying a co-pay for a $150 doctor appointment, I will be sent to the emergency room for a consult. The bill paid by the taxpayers will be upwards of $3,000. If I can’t pay for my monthly medications of $200, I will spend 72 hours in the hospital and be sent away with a month supply at an estimated cost of $35,000. The bill? Again, courtesy of the taxpayers.
That is the plan. That was the reason that the ACA was negotiated with the insurance companies and the government, to begin with. To stop the emergency room and hospital stays from people who can’t afford to do otherwise. Make people buy insurance and pay co-pays, go to appointments. Make it affordable.
Add those folks who were, to the people who will and what an expensive mess it will be. Sadly, I have nothing. There is nothing that can be taken from me. They can’t sue me, garnish my wages, and I can’t declare bankruptcy.
I and millions like me have nothing. No house. Nothing of value. I have some used movies the government might be interested in. A 2005 desktop emachine I am typing on now? Wait. I have a jar of Ashes of Ex-Boyfriends! Oh. Wrong thing to say?
And the billionaire’s at the top? Well, the tax codes are being adjusted to protect them, so they don’t have to pay. Guess who will? That’s me, waving at you! Hello, voter!
I was told not to worry. If I get suicidal, just hospitalize myself. Yes, the government will eventually send the bill to the taxpayers to the tune of about another $40,000 each time, depending on how long they keep me.
I wrote five letters today to my state representatives and senators. I asked them how they were going to protect me. My concern is primary. This isn’t how I want to live. I don’t want the ACA or Social Security as we know it to go away.
I didn’t choose this disability. But, this is the hand I was dealt. I will play it the best I can. I want to be as self-sufficient with as minimal assistance as possible. I am a proud woman. I will continue to write, call, text, email, and boycott until I can’t anymore. My life depends on it.
Today I am thankful
- My best friend is truly amazing.
- My holiday tree makes me smile.
- I did it. I started. I did something to initiate a change.
Many of my family and friends do not understand why I took this election so personal. No income, homelessness and no medication. That is what made it personal to me.
While you are able to look the other way from the disgust of your candidate, for the benefit of your party, your vote has put my life in jeopardy.
Now I can only pray you will be there for me when my life falls apart because of your vote.
This is my life.
affectionately yours, Laura