When I discuss government social welfare programs like disability and Medicaid with my conservative friends, they usually express anger over their taxes going to support people who are lazy and do not deserve government assistance. However, when I give my conservative friends the facts of one of my disability cases and ask – should the government help this individual – the answer is usually “Yes”.
Therefore, I have decided to share the real life stories of some of my disabled clients (with their permission). I want to put a human face on the uninsured.
Client A is 30 years old. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister. She is not a drug addict or an alcoholic. She has never been in prison. She has been a model citizen her entire life. She is a devout Christian.
She started working as a teenager and has an excellent work history. One day, out of the blue, she had a seizure. Eventually her doctors determined she has Multiple Sclerosis. My client continued to work.
MS is a vicious neurological disorder. Although each case is fairly unique, most individuals experience intense pain, memory loss, difficulty thinking, loss of coordination in the legs and arms, severe fatigue, blurry vision or double vision, loss of bladder control, and bowel dysfunction.
My client was forced to stop working due to her inability to think clearly, pain, fatigue, and difficulty walking. When she stopped working, she lost her health insurance. Now she is one of the millions of Americans who is uninsured.
When she lost her health insurance, my client’s neurologist offered to enroll her in one of his MS drug trials. The FDA requires all drugs to go through a rigorous series of trials to determine safety and efficacy before a new drug can get FDA approval. This was the only option available so she accepted.
The FDA drug trial is a double blind study. That means my client could be given the experimental drug, or she could be given a placebo.
A few weeks ago my client figured out she was not getting the placebo because the skin all over her body started drying up and pealing off. Both her feet have become so swollen it is difficult to walk. These are side effects of the experimental MS medication. Her MS symptoms continue to get worse.
To all those who oppose the expansion of Medicaid in NC, and to all those who oppose Obamacare, I ask you – should our government provide this woman with access to health care? Or, do we turn our back to her, and do nothing?