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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stories from the Help Line: Universal health insurance

From the files of HealthCare for All’s Help Line:

I have a cataract in my left eye and I'm losing my vision because it needs to be removed. I've been uninsured for four years and I couldn't afford surgery or health insurance. I feel absolutely thrilled that I now have health insurance that will cover this! You have no idea how incredible this is. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Joanne

I haven't had health insurance in years. Last time was probably fifteen years ago when the place that I worked closed down. I still owe my doctor for things he has done throughout the years. They just told me I have high blood pressure, and I haven't been taking the pills because they are too expensive. The first set of pills is like $20 every couple of weeks. I can get those now. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Irene

I've been going without coverage for probably five to ten years. I was told that I have a cyst on my kidney, but that was over a year ago. They said to check back with them when I have health insurance. I'm definitely going to get that checked out now. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Kevin

I have severe medical conditions and I have had no insurance for about a year. I have really bad asthma attacks and I let myself get really, really sick because I didn't have health insurance. I've had to go down to the hospital and it's a lot of bills. I feel wonderful relief [because of her new insurance coverage]! - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Joan

This is a weight off of my shoulders! I can get this hammer nail on my feet taken care of. It hurts me to walk. I wanted to take care of it before, but I just can't afford it. I went to this clinic and they just cut the toenail, but it grew back weird again. I'm a security guard and I do a lot of walking and my feet hurt very badly. I'm going to get it taken care of now. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Arthur

I have let a number of things slide while I've been uninsured the past 3 years. I haven't had any physicals or treatment for my diverticulitis. There just hasn't been the money to get the appropriate stuff done to help with this. My first plan [now that he is covered] is to have a complete physical examination so that I can have the proper treatment for my conditions. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Timothy

Having health insurance would make the greatest difference in the world. I have diabetes and really need yearly MRIs and my testing supplies covered. I haven't had any of these things for close to a year. - New Commonwealth Care Enrollee Allison

Universal health insurance in Massachusetts is the creature of many fathers and mothers. At today’s press conference/birthday party in Boston, I was privileged to see many of them. To name and thank a partial list of at least the people I know: Ashley Adams, Cheri Andes, Larry Gordon, Rev. Hurman Hamilton, Nechama Katz, Leslie Kirwan, Ari Lipman, John McDonough, Nahma Nadich, Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Brian Rosman, and Lisa Vinikoor. Bravo!

Advice to people living outside Massachusetts: Organize a coalition like theirs.

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