For most of my adult life, I was on social security disability for my schizophrenia. Several years ago, I was off meds and doing really well and I felt like I could work. I believed that if I could work, I should work, and not be taking from the social security funds that are intended for people who cannot work. So I requested not to receive supplemental security income anymore.
That meant that I would no longer have health insurance either, but I wasn’t on meds and it felt like the right thing to do, so I did it. I didn’t know that Idaho hadn’t passed a Medicaid expansion and I would be completely without options unless I was pregnant. Then in October of 2016, I started hearing voices again.
A lot of things led to me misinterpreting my symptoms and I spent a year and a half trying to pray away my schizophrenia instead of getting help. When I realized that this was a relapse, I still tried to tough it out because I didn’t have insurance. Then in September I went to a sliding scale clinic and got back on medication. My options were limited to older, cheaper medications. Things I could pay out of pocket for.
In Idaho, the tax credit that the Affordable Care Act offers is restricted to individuals who do not have access to health insurance through their spouse’s employer. My husband’s work technically offers me health insurance, but it’s $500/month, and paying out of pocket is less. I am not the only stay-at-home mom whose kids are either on Medicaid or dad’s insurance, and Mom is medically abandoned. We pray we don’t get in a car accident or need any serious treatment for anything.
I need to be screened for cancer. I can’t afford the test.
My medication isn’t working and I need a higher level of psychiatric care, and there is a six-month wait list for the county mental health office.
When Idaho was voting on whether to expand Medicaid this last November, I received all this propaganda in the mail saying things like, “Medicaid expansion will cost millions of dollars and cover able-bodied adults who should be working. Let’s help them get jobs so they can work and pay for health insurance.” First of all, you know nobody is going to put systems in place to help people get jobs. Second, the income cap for a family of five for the adults to receive Medicaid is $515.00 per month. I have a job. I work part time and I have three kids that I take care of. I am the demographic that the Medicaid expansion covers.
It is the working poor and stay-at-home moms who fall into the health coverage gap, not people without jobs. Homeless, jobless people get Medicaid.
So if you think Obamacare is all that, think again. I don’t normally go political in public, but when it comes to healthcare, I’m a screaming socialist. In a country as rich as ours, my kids shouldn’t have to worry about losing their mom to cancer or the recesses of her own mind simply because I can’t afford health insurance. This is wrong.