The following is an open letter to President Obama and the American people detailing the results of the Affordable Care Act on our family. It is my hope that others will begin to wake up and see that this nightmare is effecting everyday working families.
Dear President Obama and the American People,
As I lay down last night, the final night of 2013, the anxiety that had been building up inside of me almost overwhelmed me. It was probably from spending the entire day trying to wade my way through the Affordable Care Act that promised so much, but in the end has left my family in a nightmare. I knew that when I woke up the next morning, my family of 7 including my 5 precious children ages 5 to almost 16 would no longer have health insurance and there was no one to help me figure out what to do about it. I started to compose a letter as a final straw before turning in, but too tired to think about it anymore and not sure who I would send it to, I decided to instead bow my head, say my prayers, and cast my burdens upon the Lord. With the dawning of a new day, I have found that although my circumstances have not changed (in fact they have worsened since I woke up having lost my voice and extremely sick with no health insurance) that my attitude has changed drastically from helplessness to empowerment. Today I would like to say thank you to President Barak Obama and those in Washington that have done nothing to repeal this nightmare. This process has shown me clearly where I stand, where our country stands, and sir where you and this corrupt government stand. You see truth has a way of changing a person. You have pulled the wool over the eyes of many in our country, but the hard times we face due to your failed policies will begin will unleash the truth of your agenda and the lies that you have fed to the people of the United States. I feel a sense of hope knowing that those who have been sleeping will begin to awaken and together we will rise up against the injustice you have done against our great nation.
The following is the story about my families experience signing up for Obama Care. I tell it in hopes to shed light onto a problem that is plaguing many Americans and as time goes on and the employer mandate kicks in, it will find its way into many other hard working homes in our nation. Although we may all have different opinions and political views we can all agree that our families, our lives, and our rights matter to all of us.
Anxiety about he future filled much of my 2013. As promised by President Obama, change has come upon our nation. Change came to our small town through the start of Common Core in our school systems. I knew it was coming, but what to do about it? My husband and I are both small business owners and work hard to provide for our family of 7. My husband was in the process of opening a new business and I found that my job was more important than ever as we made sacrifices to get ourselves into a better financial situation. There was not an option for us for private school or home school so we would have to face it head on together as a family. After long days at work, I found myself having to figure out ways to teach and all too often UN-teach many of the things the kids were bringing home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little home town and we have great teachers and a school system that over the years has provided a good education for my children. However, our little town was not beyond the changes that the passing of Common Core brought with it. It has been stressful, but the future of my children is worth fighting for. At least I was aware of the battle and was making sure to read through my children’s work and take the time to explain the important things in life to my children, but what about the kids that don’t have a parent fighting that battle? Our preoccupation with our children’s education along with the stress of running two businesses caused my husband and me to put off dealing with the dread of our next battle, Obama Care.
As the year came closer to an end I had to begin facing the changes that would come with the Affordable Care Act. I am someone with pre-existing illnesses and the current health care system has been somewhat of a struggle for me. 2013 brought a victory in that arena as for the first time in several years I was able to get health insurance along with my family. A victory that would not last long with the changes ahead with the Affordable Care Act. Oh all the promises sounded great. If you like your doctor you can keep them. No longer the battle with pre-existing conditions…everyone wins!! But I knew better than to listen to the words and empty promises. Then we received our letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Al. Our insurance would increase from $350 a month to $881 per month. I knew that we struggle to pay our $350 premiums…how would we ever afford the increased cost? After talking with our insurance company, they informed me that I might be able to qualify for a subsidy and I could keep private insurance, but the government would pay for a portion of it. I was told for example the policy you have now the premium has increased if you meet the qualifications under the Marketplace you might be able to pay close to the same premium and the government would pay the difference. This perplexed me. Why in the world would the government spend the tax payer’s hard earned money to help me purchase a product I am already paying for myself…it made no sense? I decided to fill out application and see just where we were and what options we had. I must admit it felt as if I was signing over my life, but what choice was there?
I first tried the website, but it wasn’t working so I decided to call in to the toll free number. I got a nice gentleman to help me, but the process was ridiculous. He was having trouble on the computer with glitches and it was taking forever. After two hours and several calls we weren’t even a couple pages into the application. He said to wait until late afternoon or the morning and we would try again. I decided after lunch that I would try the online application again. After several frustrating hours I was able to complete the application. (This took an entire day of work for me to complete. For those who own a small business you realize time is money.) My results page said all seven of us qualified for Medicaid. We were to do nothing and someone would contact us about the next step in the process. So I waited. I waited a week, then another. Christmas went by and still nothing. I knew time was running out, but what was I to do? Then on Dec 30th the call came. A voicemail late in the evening told me to go on the AL Medicaid website and do an application. That was the solution after all that waiting with my health insurance set to expire in two days. So my new years eve was spend not with loved ones, but with a computer and a telephone filling out applications, making calls, trying to get help for my family. The information I got was worse than I imagined. After the application for Medicaid I found out one of our children qualified, 4 would qualify for ALL KIDS, but I had to mail in some information, I qualified for family planning only and my husband qualified for nothing. So I decided to call the marketplace. This is where I could not believe what I was hearing. I was told that we had 3 options: 1. Delete our application and start over 2. Call the Al Medicaid to see if they would release us so we could look at other options 3. Wait for Medicaid to send a denial and call back. I was so confused so I asked what would deleting my application do? The girl on the other end said we would just start over the application and you would get different results and I could find you a health plan. I told her I was confused. If I entered the same information (family size, financial info, etc) wouldn’t I get the exact same result? She said I know it doesn’t make sense, but we have found that if we delete the application and redo them with the same info we are getting totally different results. All I can say is I was blown away. So how many times has this been done I wonder?? Can you believe that…what an outrage!! Then I asked about the other options. She seemed really confused as she looked back over my application but couldn’t come up with any other solution. She said you have to be released from them before we can do anything. Next I made a call to the Al Medicaid agency. He explained that we had to be denied by Medicaid before we could get Obama Care, but that would take at least 6 weeks. Much longer if the marketplace had done the application for us. I told him what was said about deleting our application. He was not surprised. He said you would not believe some of the things they tell people. They are just clueless. The only hope he could give me was going down to the local office and talking to someone, but warned me that they are overwhelmed right now with people in my same situation so to expect long lines. So after hours of trying to figure things out, I realized I was no better off and that I would be entering 2014 with not health insurance for my family. I would have to wait until after the New Year and go wait in a line like a good little girl and get whatever the government deems best for my family.
I felt very disheartened. The last thing I wanted was to go onto government assistance. Why when I was able to pay for my insurance was I being made to go onto this program? Now even that seemed out of my reach. Since the economy tanked my family has gone through struggle after struggle. The past few years we have dealt with unemployment, a horrible recession that affected our businesses (my husband was in the housing industry)…you name it…we have faced it in the past few years. At one point, we found ourselves at the end of our rope and on government assistance to feed our children and health care for our little ones. I told myself that there wasn’t another option and that was what the programs were for. My husband was looking for work and we were doing our best to avoid foreclosure of our home and keep our truck payments up. Then one day I woke up and decided that I would no longer live that way. We looked to our faith, family, and worked hard to get out of that situation.
I mean this in no way to offend anyone that is on government assistance. I know because I have been there with no options with hungry kids staring at you and sick babies needing a doctor. I know that just because you are hard-working that life has a way of finding you in predicaments you never intended, but I also know that there is no heart and soul in a government program. If you aren’t careful you will find yourself in the same spot in life and never rising above that. We were made for more than that! Sure we could still qualify for handouts based on our income level and family size, but instead we would choose to earn our own way. I cannot tell you how good it feels to earn your own way in life. Despite what the president thinks, it was our hard work, long hours, and sacrifices that built our businesses and his failed policies did nothing but make it harder for us to succeed. As I reflect on my life, I realize that no government program ever saved anyone. Our citizens have been terribly wounded and Washington simply puts a band aid on the problem. A temporary check does not solve the larger problems in life. People…family….love…prayer…God changes lives. Mr. President the American people don’t need you riding in on a white horse, they need jobs and the tools to help themselves and each other. They need an economy that can provide those jobs. Your health care nightmare is only making things worse. My husband and I are among just the beginning of those to be effected by your failed attempt at social medicine. We are the backbone of America, small business owners. If we can’t afford health care then we certainly won’t be providing jobs for others. What then?
I am asking you to please look at the facts. What is the state of the Union? Are we better off then when you took office? To the American people, are you better off than you were before? Please Washington wake up and see that the people you swore to serve and the Constitution that you were to uphold is under attack. You are waging a war against the very people you serve. Why? You have forgotten who you are. You were elected by the people of the United States to protect our rights and yet you threaten them. As you bicker over petty politics, the people are the ones paying the price. Wake up Washington…the American people don’t need you to fix all their problems they need to get out of the way. Our Constitution is not the problem…you are!! We don’t need more and more laws to fix America…The problem isn’t republican or democrat…the problem is Washington itself and all the corruption. As someone that has fought hard to get themselves out of poverty…I am being forced right back into it…but why? This has really been plaguing me. Why would the government of a free country want me to be dependent upon them…but therein lies the problem. You don’t simply want to provide for us, but to control us.
Today I am reminded that I do not need savior Obama, or the republicans, or the democrats. I do not live under the flag of a tyrant. Today instead of sitting around and crying about what I deserve and how hard life is, I would like to say thank you. Only a few short years ago I was going through life asleep. I would have told you I lived in the greatest country on earth and said God bless America, the land of the free, but I would had no clue what that meant or why that was so precious. Your attempt at control in the end will be your down fall. As people lose their freedom, they will also begin to understand its value. As we find ourselves having to deal with things like government health care, common core, and all other aspects of the nanny sate we will also be forced to decide what side we are on. Do we truly want to be free or do we want to just become a slave to whoever is in control and do as we are told. So instead of waiting in a line to receive my hand out tomorrow and taking on my role as a good little slave to the governmental system that is oppressing it’s people, I will instead bow my head to my heavenly father, join hands with my friends and family, and I will tell my story to those who will listen. God will provide for me and for my family. I don’t know what form the answer will come, but I can guess that it will require hard work and to that I am fully capable. I will work my butt off to provide for my kids because, America, if you think signing up for health care was hard just imagine what it will be like when they institute the death panels or a the very least you can’t find a doctor that you trust because you are told who you will see and what care you will receive. In America we stand for freedom and I will not subject my family to what someone else thinks is best for them.
We the people own this country, not you Mr. President or any other political party. This is a free country where we are free to make our own choices and stand up for what we believe is right. As your prized Affordable Care Act begins to show its true purpose and others begin to wake up, you will long for the day when ordinary people would just sit down and shut up and do as they are told. That is not going to happen here. We have tasted freedom here in this country and we will not forget it. We will teach our children what liberty is and the cost of liberty despite what your government run schools tell them to think or do. The line in the sand has been drawn between those who value freedom and those who want to control others and those that fear them. Today is a new year and though the future looks bleak and uncertain I have faith in God, Freedom, and the American people.