Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Open Letter to Gary Palmer

I did not vote for you because I am tired of the republican rhetoric of repeal the Affirdable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Why? Because I was one of the fighters to get something done to end the abuses of insurance companies. I saw problems as early as 2005 while Bush was still president, and wrote countless letters to him about the problems we were having with BCBS of Alabama. And he kept promising things would change, but they never did. Not until President. Obama came along and took the republican plan and ran with it. But listen up, Mr. Palmer. Just because I did not vote you, I am still your constituent. You are still supposed to represent me in D.C. And here is what I need from you if you are going to do that job well: I need you to strengthen the ACA. You may make it better, but you may not repeal it. If you repeal it, the insurance companies will go right back to where we started before the ACA came along to fix the problems. I am sure to get dropped at my next illness, and with an immune deficiency, I have a lot. If I get dropped, I will be lucky to survive the six month wait until the state high risk pool will take me, but tell me something, why on earth do you want to force me into a position of having to go on tax payer funded medical care? As long as I have private insurance, I am responsible for myself. No one else is. Not you, not Joe Blow down the street. Me. So, listen, the ACA, is actually a good thing. Second, you work hard to get the veterans what they need: jobs, VA or private care, COLA, etc. My mom sacrificed her time to serve this country. And I am proud of her. But I am sick of the stand offs in D.C. Because of those stand offs, my mom is back on the job market and she is having struggles. Third, you fight hard to make sure the disabled do not lose their benefits and fight to get the ABLE Act passed. The main hold up for me being to work even part-time now is the fact that I need hearing aids. And I have exhausted all my resources trying to get them so far. But because I am disabled, I need the SSI benefits to help cover expenses that insurance does not cover. Hearing aids cost $3000 and I am only allowed $2000. Per year. The ABLE Act will allow me to save for those hearing aids without penalty. Look, I did not ask to be disabled. But once we knew what was going on with me, I had some smart people from a church who knew where I needed to go to get help. And even though that church abused me when they learned if have autism, the few smart people there that referred me to the right places for help did a great job. Wisdom was taking their advice and seeking the help. Fourth, do not cut SNAP anymore. Really? As long as elderly, disabled, and veterans along with active duty military families and people who do work need it, do not cut it anymore. Fifth, and last of all, raise the minimum wage. When I looked up what a person needs to make in Shelby County to not be in poverty, the results were for a family of two to not be in poverty, one worker needs to make $14 an hour. Minimum. Minimum wage was established to be a living wage. Look it up. But when you raise the wage, close the loophole allowing employers to get away with paying disabled people as little as 22 cents an hour! What on earth? So there you have it, Mr. Palmer. Sincerely, Susan Spann

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