Last March, I realized everyone’s worst nightmare when a doctor diagnosed my 44-year-old husband, Ben, with a 10-centimeter colo-rectal tumor. Ben had low risk factors. We were stunned and heartbroken. Within two weeks of treatment, we had met our $10,000/year insurance deductible.
This could happen to anyone.
What if we didn’t have insurance? Ben is self-employed, and I work for a nonprofit. We pay our monthly insurance premium out-of-pocket, and we struggle to cover it. What will the insurance company do to our already exorbitant insurance rates? The last question keeps us both awake at night.
The Republicans are a heartless bunch when it comes to giving Americans access to universal healthcare. As they fall over themselves giving tax breaks to the very wealthy, the middle-class and poor are putting off health care, sometimes until it’s too late. Yet, our incumbent Congressman, Heath Shuler, so-called Democrat, voted against the health-care bill too. He also extended tax cuts to the rich. I’ve held my nose and voted for him in the past — but no more.
We’re the richest nation on earth. It’s shameful that health care is a luxury for so many Americans. I’m so very thankful that the Obama administration had the decency, compassion and will to promote health care reform. Too bad Shuler has completely failed us all in that quarter. I wish he could put himself in others’ shoes and see how terrifying it is to be faced with financial ruin in the face of a health crisis.
Cecil Bothwell is running against Heath Shuler, and he supports single-payer, universal health insurance, via extension of the Medicare system. He’s good people and will do everything it takes to make sure that we can all afford quality health care.
— Heather Rayburn