What Happens When You Can’t Afford Life-Saving Health Care?

This post comes courtesy Brian Henriquez and our friends at Virginia New Majority. You can join them calling for expanded medicaid access for all Virginians by signing the petition today.

I was just 7 years old when I was rushed to the emergency room in the wee hours of the morning. I couldnít breathe, inhaling hurt and I felt like I was drowning in water.

The doctors told me I had asthma. I was too young to understand what hospital bills were, but my mom understood. She was relieved that I had Medicaid. Medicaid helped pay for my inhalers, nebulizers and all sorts of medicines I needed to stay healthy.

Asthma will always be with me. Medicaid wonít.

Now that Iím 19 years old, I am no longer eligible for Medicaid. Iím taking pre-med classes so that I can become a pediatrician one day. I also work part-time. There’s no way I can afford private health insurance right now.

Iím afraid of getting sick because if I go to the doctor, Iíll have to pay out-of-pocket. My momís been skipping doctorís visits for years. Itís a sacrifice she makes to provide for her family.

I never realized how important healthcare was until I got sick a few weeks ago. I didnít tell my mom because she would have insisted on taking me to the doctor. We canít afford the care so I sucked it up.

Iím just one of 400,000 Virginians who would qualify for Medicaid under a proposed expansion. To think there are hundreds of thousands of other Virginians in this situation makes me sad.

No one should have to live like this.

ĖBrian Henriquez, Virginia New Majority Member

Brian’s story of struggling to afford the basic care he needs to survive and thrive is tragic, but it is, alarmingly, not uncommon. Around Virginia and the rest of the United States far too many people are forced to balance a limited budget with the health care they need to survive.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that insures pregnant women, children, low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly who need nursing home care.

Each state sets their own eligibility rules and pays for half the cost of the program.

Programs like Medicaid are meant to be there to bridge the gap, but right now too many people are shut out of the program who also cannot afford private insurance.

Virginia has one of the most restrictive eligibility requirements in the country; potential recipients can only earn up to 30% of the federal poverty line. That means a family of four with a yearly income of $7,200 doesn’t qualify for Medicaid in Virginia.

The Affordable Care Act, however, changes that. States can accept federal funding that will allow them to cover people earning up to 133% of the poverty line, including adults without dependent children.

Expanding Medicaid won’t cost Virginia anything for the first three years. After that Virginia will pay just a fraction of the cost to provide critical healthcare to seniors, kids and families across the state.

An independent study also shows that by expanding Medicaid would grow Virginia’s economy by $4 billion over the next six years and create 31,000 new jobs, while cutting state spending on healthcare by 7%.

Gov. McDonnell opposes the Medicaid expansion but he agreed in February to create a commission of 10 legislators to review whether or not sufficient reforms have been made to Medicaid before Virginia proceeds with an expansion.

Both the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate will name five lawmakers to the commission. The Senate hasn’t named its members, which only delays a possible expansion.

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis estimates that Virginia taxpayers are set to lose $5 million a day in life-saving health coverage for our friends, families and neighbors if our lawmakers can’t come to an agreement and implement a Medicaid expansion by January 1, 2014.

It’s a price that Virginia shouldn’t have to pay.



Kevin D.
Kevin D.2 years ago

Hey enormous stuff or pleasant information you are offering here. life insurance

Sandy J.
Sandy J.5 years ago

had car accident 5 yrs ago ( my fault one car collision) 14 pins 2 plats 2 yrs ago poins starting shifting coming thru the bone. went to ortho clinic was told needed surgery, was denied medical assistance. can't affort medicare premiums and still live in my house or eat. anyway have suffered last 3 yrs barely can wak. went to world renowned Hopkins er was told pins were fine and that I had a vascular prob. I know that they saw that I had no insurance and bum rushed me to the door. medicaid again turned me now. by the way when I asked the doce at Hopkins about the fact that I would feel the pins right underneath my skin his retort well thy are not coming thru the skin. thisi s a disgrace that we have money for war, money for Israel Syria and no money for health care, I am terrified that the pins are going to come thru while I am home alone. barely go out. how can I qualify for a little bit of food stamps and not heath care. though my sate is expanding Medicaid I get too much money 50 a month to qualify tehe grat american health care plan as alan grayson so aptly put it is just die. talk about sarah palin's death panels. come to this country as an illegal or have a bunch of babies and u automatically qualify see them at the welfare office all the time getting service. work hard all of your life and get left on the trash heap.by the way dems have signed on to cutting foodstamps so in nov we will get another cut

Sassy A.
Sassy A5 years ago

Many Texas politicians, ESPECIALLY PERRY, don't care either if people live or die who don't have insurance.

John Hablinski
John Hablinski5 years ago

John wrote: .............what happens when you don't have insurance and need treatment???............you go to the emergency room..........as most people with no insurance do........
Yeah, John (another writer ashamed of his remarks & so doesn’t have a Profile.) that is exactly what happens and not only does a trip to the ER cost us all several times what the cost of a trip to a doctor’s office would and because the ER isn’t set up to be a replacement for a private doctor they add additional costs because they will return again & again perhaps for the same malady. If they are ill & not injured they will probably broadcast the illness to everyone in the ER & the ER Waiting Room and chances are they too will make a trip to the ER for treatment on the public’s tab. So the question is do you want us to pay $500.00 or $5,000.00? Only an idiot would oppose the ACA.

john k.
john k5 years ago

.............what happens when you don't have insurance and need treatment???............you go to the emergency room..........as most people with no insurance do........

John Hablinski
John Hablinski5 years ago

Amanda, it was indeed fortunate you had Medicaid coverage. It is very repulsive to me that such a huge swatch of Americans simply think only those with the money to pay out-of-pocket for such treatment or have insurance to cover a huge chunk of the cost of care are worth concern. If, however, someone doesn’t have such resources, then their life is expendable. I can’t understand why they feel it would be horrendous if their children were to lose a parent but your children should just suck it up. The people who think this are called Republicans. I personally have a few more names for them but I’ll leave them for others to guess.

Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

I will forever be grateful that my husband and I qualified for Medicaid four years ago when I was diagnosed with gallstones following several severe attacks, the last one of which finally drove me to the ER (not due to diet or anything like that-bum gallbladders simply run on my mom's side of the family). I had tried to consult several surgeons following the ER visit, but was turned down repeatedly because we couldn't afford the surgery on our own-one office even told me flat-out, "Unless you can pay for it yourself, we can't help you!" Yeah, right-you just TRY coming up with $8-10K after paying for rent, utilities, gas, and food for yourself and two kids while making less than $20K a year! Fortunately, we qualified for Medicaid (our kids had already qualified because under Maryland's system, kids in a family of four qualify if the total income is up to $45K, while the parents only qualify if the total income is under $22K per year-you figure that one out, I can't!), and the surgery went off without a hitch.

If it wasn't for Medicaid being available to us, I would be DEAD. It's as simple as that. There is no way we'd have been able to afford to pay out of pocket, and my husband's job did NOT offer insurance at all. Fortunately, he has a good-paying job now, and we have good coverage plus the ability to sock away a little money after the necessities are paid for. However, the years in poverty have definitely made me a bit gun-shy and afraid it could happen again! Th

Deborah W.
Deborah W5 years ago

YOU DIE! All the money spent on new technology will be out of the reach of the very people it was meant to help. Ass backwards as usual, what a waste.

Laura R.
Laura R5 years ago

What kind of country is that, where people have to suffer because they can't afford medical care, and there's no government who will help them?
Health insurance for the general public works for many other countries too, why can't the US do it too?
It's really a shame

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V5 years ago

Part two..........


Rockefeller paid Abraham Flexner to visit all the medical schools in the US at that time. He released the so-called “Flexner Report” in 1910, which called for the standardization of medical education and concluded there were too many doctors and medical schools in America. Rockefeller then used his control of the media to generate public outcry at the findings of the report – which, by means of the classic elite strategy of “Problem, Reaction, Solution” as David Icke calls it, ultimately led Congress to declare the AMA (American Medical Association) the only body with the right to grant medical school licenses in the United States. This suited Rockefeller perfectly – he then used the AMA (which may be better called to the American Murder Association due their widespread use and endorsement of toxic vaccines, drugs, chemotherapy and radiation) to compel the Government destroy the natural competition, which it did through regulating medical schools.
The AMA only endorsed schools with a drug-based curriculum. It didn’t take long before non-allopathic schools fell by the wayside due to lack of funding. Thus, Rockefeller had his monopoly on drugs, and Big Pharma was born – and has only grown bigger and more terrible since, now routinely bribing doctors to prescribe their toxic and side effect-laden pills, not to mention their autism