I wrote the essay below the squiggle for my English Comp class in 2010. It's a huge part of the reason why I will vote for Obama again in spite of having difficulties at times with his Presidency.
A woman is rushed by ambulance to an emergency room in Fargo, ND, her face a mass of bloody contusions so severe that her own mother would not recognize her. She tastes the coppery, metallic blood in her mouth coming from the empty cavities where her teeth used to be. She vaguely smells the sweat of the men in the ambulance with her and she goes in and out of consciousness as they work frantically over her broken body. Once in the emergency room, she is rushed into a small area surrounded by white fabric walls and the EMT’s help the nurses move her from the stretcher to the ER bed as the woman screams out in pain. Doctors are shouting orders and controlled chaos fills the room. The woman slips into a coma from the head wounds she’s received. The doctors rush the woman into surgery and are able to relieve the pressure on her brain but the woman remains in the coma and is admitted to the intensive care unit. This woman is the victim of a vicious attack inflicted on her by her husband.
After several days of operations she finally begins to show signs of responsiveness. Two weeks later she comes out of the coma and after several more months of treatment and physical therapy she is released from the hospital. The woman stays with her sister while she recuperates as returning home to her husband is no longer an option. This is the second time the woman has been hospitalized due to the terrible beatings inflicted on her by her husband. Her face is still a mottled purple, black and blue and she faces months of reconstructive surgery on her face and teeth. She suffers from constant pain and it encompasses every facet of her life. It will take months, possibly years, to regain her health.
She receives the bills from the doctors and the hospital and submits them to her health insurance company. She thinks she is fortunate because she has excellent insurance that she pays several hundred dollars a month for. She believes she will be fully covered. What she doesn’t know is that in her state it is legal to classify domestic violence as a preexisting condition. She receives a letter from her insurance company stating that her coverage has been denied due to a preexisting condition. She’s horrified and feels as though she has been victimized all over again. She writes to the company imploring them to reconsider her case but the law in her state is clear and the insurance company is unbendable. She has months of physical therapy, medical treatment and medications ahead of her. She is now on disability due to her injuries and is receiving $1,056.00 per month. She has no way of paying for the care that she needs. Her family tries but is unable to raise the necessary funds. She is forced to do something she swore she would never do; she declares bankruptcy because she cannot pay the $115,000 in medical bills that have been racked up.
The woman wonders how it’s possible for this to happen in this great country. She wonders how it can possibly be legal for an insurance company to deny coverage to a victim of domestic violence. She wonders how her government could allow that kind of inhumanity. She paid her insurance premiums and felt secure that in the event of a health catastrophe she would be covered. When the time came that she needed that coverage the most the insurance company turned its back on her and forced her into a situation that made her feel demeaned and victimized. The woman cannot see any difference between the insurance company and the husband who brutalized her. There is no difference and this type of situation happens to Americans every day when insurance companies put their financial bottom line ahead of the care required by the people who pay to keep them in business.