I was diagnosed with throat cancer on Tuesday, January 12. I am unemployed and have no health insurance. I intend to get the care I need. My doctor has not turned me down, nor has the hospital for treatment. I anticipate the bills will begin soon and I will not be able to pay them. Prognosis is 80/20 for recovery with radiation and chemotherapy. I have a notion I am going to face something nastier than cancer in my life: bill collectors. So it begins.
My occupation used to be an administrative assistant. The last two positions that paid well were transferred to different states so my job was gone with them. At 59, with the tight job market, I am not getting any offers. And now, with this diagnosis, there really isn't going to be a job.
I've been beside myself with the Democrats not coming together at once to pass healthcare, and I am livid that just a few people held it hostage. I've tried to do my share by signing petitions and beating up Evan Bayh. This was before I knew I was ill. I think Congress should pass some scrap of something. I wanted the public option. I also hoped they would lower Medicare eligibility to 55. That was selfish, of course. Still, they must try to do something, if only to have it to build upon. They are crazy to think this will come around again this generation.
Sarah Hurt, 59
There are many more stories of the uninsured at The Nation . Read them if you can take it. The uninsured are your neighbors, friends and colleagues.