My friend and small business owner who is an accountant, sent me the letter below that she emailed to the White House about two weeks ago that I felt should get wider distribution.
I edited out her last name and address for privacy and the bold highlights are mine.
See Karen's story below.....
Thanks for all the mojo.
I have asked Karen if she'd be interested in sharing with media and she is mulling it over.
I will update when I get more word from her.
She has been reading the comments and has been struck by how much her story has resonated.
Update 7/25 3:45pm:
So I have done some leg work for Karen and called the DC offices of Senators Murray and Cantwell and Rep. Adam Smith and Governor Inslee's offices. I got contact emails for all of their Health care aides and she has sent a copy of her letter to all of them.
Next, I will be contacting Seattle media to garner interest in her story.
TO: President Barack Obama
RE: Health Care Reform
Dear Mr. President,
I was urged by many of my friends and colleagues to tell you my story, and as I have written several times to you about health care, I figured you may want to know the rest of the story.
I am the breadwinner for a family with four step-children. I own a small business where I support many clients with accounting services. I raised two daughters as a single parent. I am a typical American. I do not want a free ride…I just wanted to join the club and be able to care for myself so I can be here for my family.
I decided to open my own business in 2004. With this I bought health insurance from the very limited choices available. I made arrangements for them to automatically draft the premiums knowing how vital it was to keep coverage. After a year or so they quit taking the premiums, and when I inquired they said I had to re-apply for coverage. I re-applied and was denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
During my decade with zero coverage, and a chronic illness to maintain, I depended upon our local low cost clinic. So I had the bare necessities covered, but there were no affordable options for follow up care.
As soon as the pool opened I applied for coverage. So on January 1st I was covered with real insurance. I could fill my prescriptions with a co-payment, I could see a doctor for $20.00 a visit. Another bonus to having real healthcare, I could be referred to a cardiologist, for a $30.00 co-pay.And I could have tests done to determine what was wrong, with 20% co-pay. I could finally fix that pain.
I immediately put this privilege to work, getting my check-up, my blood work, getting better working meds and a Primary Care Physician. But that was not all I got. Now I had a doctor I could see on a regular basis, who was learning my story. She heard me when I said my mother had a heart attack at 46 years old. She heard me when I told her I had a back ache that had plagued me for many years.
Four and a half months after getting coverage, I was admitted to the hospital. I had a triple bypass surgery. The surgeon said I was a prime candidate for a major heart attack, and because of anomalies in my heart’s structure, I may not have survived it. I am 110% better, back to work, and out of pain.
Healthcare reform gave me that chance.
There are millions of people like Karen M that have not only gotten routine care but LIFE SAVING SURGERIES as a result of the Affordable CARE Act.