I’m one of thousands if not millions of people who people likely to die in the first year if Medicaid is dismantled, and I am terrified. The thought of the pain - and seizures - I’m likely to experience if my many medications are no longer covered is intolerable —as is the thought of having to give up the work to which I am devoted. I could much easier bear a terminal diagnosis than I can knowing that I’m denied available treatment because of the cruelty of the U.S. government.
Although chronically ill with many immune system illnesses and incapacitated about 25% of the time, I’ve worked full-time (self-employed due to necessity) for over 40 years - as an author and instructor in high school, colleges and continuing education programs. Until I got on Medicaid during the past few years, my medical bills and insurance were more than 50% of my income, which now hovers above the poverty level because so many instructors of young adults and older like me earn only a little more than minimum wage.
Many people aren’t aware too how many adjunct professors live near the poverty level, and rely on Medicaid or even food stamps — professors with PHDs, some still attempting to pay off graduate school loans.
It is difficult to decide whether to use the little free time I have taking political action in support of Medicaid (what can one do anyway?) or making final arrangement for my life, knowing how easily and quickly it could be terminated if Medicaid were to be further cut back.
As it is, the bureaucratic loopholes of having to re-apply every year, and be inevitably cut off while having to appeal so the state can save money during the months one is not covered puts unbelievable pressure on those of us who are quite seriously ill. During my last battle, I had pneumonia followed by the flu twice…and took months to recover because of all the stress involved fighting to stay on Medicaid during that time.
Many of us on Medicaid are hard-working seriously ill people who’ve been struggling all our lives to support ourselves and get necessary health care. Please, please, fight for our rights to survive.