Need another reason to get excited about new health care reform rules finally going into effect? How about this one: Raymond Johnson. The single, low-income man discovered a lump in his breast and, after ignoring it due to his meager cash supply and lack of insurance coverage, was eventually rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mass the size of a baseball removed.
Unfortunately, he still has no ability to pay his medical bills. After being found ineligible for traditional Medicaid due to his $9 an hour earnings, he was encouraged to apply for a specialized state Medicaid program that was created especially for those who were diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer.
There, he was turned down again — this time because the program was only for women.
Doctors, politicians, the Department of Health and Human Services, everyone agrees that the ruling is wrong, but no one seems to have a solution to fix it.
But what is really wrong is that Johnson was in this situation in the first place. It is wrong that he was unable to have insurance in the first place due to his low wage job. It is wrong that he had to wait until it was an emergency room situation because he could not afford preventative care. And it’s wrong that a single man with no children who grosses less than $20,000 a year is seen as someone who should be able to pay for health care on his own.
This is why we need affordable access to health care for everyone. Don’t let Republicans continue in their efforts to rescind reform.
Photo credit: Flinga, on wikimedia commons
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