By Suzanne Stewart.
People should not be labeled as a “pre-existing” condition. Chronic pain patients aren’t a subclass of persons who are lesser than others. Why wouldn’t we be afforded the same healthcare options as anyone else? I would say, after reviewing the list from the new AHCA, that just about everyone has a “pre-existing condition”. I mean really “post menopausal” is a “condition”? No it’s just a part of the normal progression of life! I just don’t understand this entire idea? The list is so long that I’m sure everyone in the entire USA, over 25, has something on that list!
WE are the pain community of the United States of America! We belong to this country just the same as non-pain patients. We hear so many different opposing opinions, that it’s hard to know who or what is true? If someone in Congress got injured and they had multiple chronic pain issues, I’d bet they would want the same insurance coverage as their counterparts. In fact, all of the branches of government should be given the same health coverage as “the people” of the USA. It does make me worry that they are going to be giving the states, the option to “opt out” or not. If they do “opt out”, then they will get 8 billion dollars set aside to help people with “pre-existing conditions”. But since that makes up just about everybody, I’m afraid that money won’t last long. Even the extra 130 billion dollars is going to be gone in a few years, and then what?
We are told what the government wants us to know. I don’t know honestly, what is the truth? Several years ago, President Obama told us we would be able to keep our own Dr’s., and then we weren’t able to do that! Now President Trump is telling us that “pre-existing conditions will be covered on the AHCA”. But what are all of the underlying phrases, “ins and outs” etc.? Really, things couldn’t go on the way they were going because the prices have become astronomical! It’s gotten out of hand and the people couldn’t and cannot afford the ACA either. My own situation, as the wife of an employee of an employer based insurance program; ours has tripled or more in the last several years. Instead of my husband getting raises, he is making much less than he was 7 years ago! We have to pay $1200 each, annually for our deductibles, let alone the cost of the co-pays and the 20% that we have to pay just to have the insurance. I’m grateful to have it, don’t get me wrong! But it’s getting more difficult all the time. Living with several high chronic pain illnesses and heart/kidney diseases; it has become a very heavy load on our money situation. I’ve had so many of my Physicians leave. Many have told us that there are less and less prospective physicians in medical school these days because of the uncertainty of the pay etc.
I cannot even watch the news anymore. I don’t want to hear or see so much negativity. There’s nothing comforting in our news media anymore. I’d really enjoy seeing more rescued kittens and less of Presidents Trump and Obama, honestly. We can turn the channels and get two totally opposing views on any one subject in the news right now. I don’t even feel like we are in the USA anymore. I feel like things are being hidden from the people and maybe they always have been? Possibly I’m just more aware of this now? I’m not sure except to say that it feels unsettling and I just don’t know what is going to be the outcome?
In Michigan, if Obamacare were to stick around, then the premiums were going to go up by 17%! All of the employee based health care, like what I have with my husband; was going to be counted as “income”, starting in 2018. It is called a “Cadillac tax” and this way the working families of the middle class pay for the poor people. I’ve never minded helping my fellow citizens, but who is going to help me or us? It’s hard to know what might’ve happened or what will happen? President Trump comes in now and vows to “fix” things. But it’s been nothing but chaos since he’s started his presidency. There’s so much meanness and hurtful words spewing out from everywhere. Not just one side or the other. Why does there have to be sides anyways? Why can’t we all just be American’s trying to live and work to help each other. Why do we have to be put into little “groups” instead of just being “Americans”?
Now I hear Congress, my own Governor and the President all stating that “Under no circumstances can people be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition”. But then why are we so afraid? Maybe because we’ve heard so much of this in the past and it always turns out not to be true? I truly don’t like to hear so much talk about how everyone wants to “hurt” someone in the government. I don’t want to hear it from President Trump and I don’t want to hear it from the TV set every time I turn it “ON”. Let’s stop hurting each other and plotting out what hateful and hurtful things we can think of to post or say today. Lets work together, since there’s not much else we can do at this point. It would be so much more pleasant if we could find a way to become “one” and work to gather to find solutions to this “mess” with the health insurance in this country. Most everyone I care about has a Pre-existing condition. It scares me to think that we are being lied to again. The Pain community is not a separate group of people who are living on some isolated “island” outside of the USA. We are people just like everyone else. We are part of these United States and so are our illnesses. Just about everybody has something wrong with them. Whether it be mental illness, physical illness or pain conditions, I feel that most all people have some kind of “pre-existing” condition that needs paid for one way or another. We need to stop the anger and hatred. Leave that up to those in the government, if that is how they want to behave. But we, the people, need to form a “more perfect union” and unify this country again.
Suzanne has lived with a Systemic CRPS & several other chronic pain illnesses since a MVA in 2002. Prior to being disabled from chronic pain, she was an Interpreter for the Deaf at a hospital & worked with Deaf children. Since 2005, Suzanne’s been a patient Health advocate, support group leader & Mentor. She continues doing these things today, but also does public speaking, awareness events and she’s a Writer/blogger & an Ambassador for the U.S.Pain Foundation.
For entertainment she creates advocacy videos & uplifting ASL cover song videos on You tube and she writes in her own blog Tears Of Truth (Suzydukettes.wordpress.com).