An Open Letter to Ann Romney – In Response to her Post on BlogHer


I posted this in the comments of an article Ann Romney wrote on the popular woman’s site, BlogHer. I thought it articulated my feelings on her husband pretty well, so I wanted to share it on my blog, too.

Mrs. Romney,

What you call entitlements ensures a person like me, a man in a wheelchair, gets out of bed, is able to go to work, to go to college, to raise a family and to be a productive citizen of this country. Those “entitlements” pay for my $30,000 wheelchair. No job (unless you are making millions) can allow for a person to pay for such an expensive item (and wheelchairs are not available like cars – you cannot get a 7 year loan where you pay monthly – you have to pay it all up front). The same is true of the $3000 shower chair I use (it has straps so I don’t fall out, because ten years ago, I had a cheaper model, fell out and broke my tibia, limiting my mobility further during my lengthy recovery), the $2000 Hoyer Lift that gets me out of bed, since I cannot be lifted easily, and any other medical device I need to be functional. It pays for my PCA care. I have lived on my own and had jobs since I was 18 years old. PCA care ensures I have someone to get me out of bed.

Thanks to all these entitlements, I have three jobs. I am a film editor for a program that helps people with disabilities who have abused drugs, I am in training to do public speaking on disability rights through my university, and I am also the webmaster for one of the departments at my university. I am also a full time student in my early 30s (I had health issues that prevented me from graduating in my 20s). I am in a demanding film program at a school endorsed by Tom Hanks. I work hard day in and day out. I also have a girlfriend and we have a teenage son with mental and emotional health issues. She and my son have no health insurance, because she makes too much money to get him Medicaid (a child with a disability), but not enough to afford insurance. It is cheaper for her to pay hundreds of dollars for his medicine out of pocket. Prior to the ACA she couldn’t even get insurance companies to offer them insurance because of his pre-existing condition, but now that they have to (thank you President Obama!) they want to charge several hundreds of dollars per month and that insurance wouldn’t pay for any of his medicine, only part of his therapy and a minimal part of his regular doctor’s visits to a psychiatrist. Instead, she pays hundreds of dollars out of pocket for doctor’s visits, therapy, and his medication. When the ACA is in full effect, these insurance companies will not be able to bilk her and she will be able to get insurance. Until then, we live month by month.

She and I also remain unmarried despite being together TEN YEARS because I would lose my health insurance if we married. She makes a middle class living but not enough to buy thousands of dollars in medical equipment, not enough to pay for my PCA care or even my doctor’s appointments. She pays enough in healthcare it takes away from the good living she makes because all her money is going towards medical expenses. She works hard. We both are hard working, taxpaying Americans and your husband’s plan to privatize Medicare, make cuts to Medicaid and repeal the ACA will do nothing but hurt us. Privatizing Medicare ensures people with disabilities lose the healthcare they need for their wheelchairs. Cutting Medicaid ensures we lose access to Waiver services that get us out of bed. Without either many of us will be forced into nursing homes. I’m in my 30s and I don’t believe a productive person, such as myself, should be forced into one. However, if you take away our healthcare supports what choice do we have??

At the same time, it will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, per person, to pay for us to go to these institutions since none of us will be able to afford it. So, by cutting health services you will cost the American taxpayers MORE money. Further, cutting the ACA ensures families such as mine NEVER get access to health insurance, because of pre-existing conditions. I do not know if you’ve ever seen a child with mental health issues without medicine, but it isn’t pretty. Luckily, for now, we can afford his meds, but in the future, who knows?

There are millions of Americans with disabilities facing this same reality of losing their insurance and other insurance related services if your husband is elected. He is out of touch with the needs of people with disabilities and all his policies will do is harm them. He will harm the most vulnerable populations and that is why he should not become the next president. I guess if he was not so wealthy and had limited access to healthcare he’d be more in touch with what the majority of Americans go through, but he doesn’t. If you think he does, then you are truly living in a delusion.

You can check out Mrs. Romney’s original post on BlogHer by going to her The Man I Know article.

[tags]Mitt Romney, Obamacare, presidential election, election, president, Ann Romney, debate, healthcare, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, ACA[/tags]


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