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I was shocked with the Supreme Court’s Decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. My life has been a little bleak lately. This was very good news for someone like me today. I was diagnosed with a hard to treat, rarer form, of Multiple Sclerosis in April of 2009. In May 2012 I found out I had stage IIIc clear cell ovarian cancer. I am now eligible for Social Security because my illness is terminal but I can not get Medicare for two years which is longer than my projected life expectancy. Our insurance is very expensive but I could not afford the care I am getting without it.

I believe in the individual mandate. We often have to make tough decisions between gas, food, insurance premiums, and medical. We balance it some how. I recently had an extensive surgery to remove as much cancer as possible, had to have a port surgically installed the next day, had a six day hospital stay, and I go in for chemotherapy every three weeks. My out of pocket, even with the State Health Plan, is higher than we can afford. President Obama said it well when he said this is just the beginning we have a lot more to do to make the health care system more affordable. My friends are shocked to think hard working folks like my husband and I can lose everything over my medical bills but in America we still can. It is hard enough to face life or death with out having to worry about the cost of the care. I do not want free care I just want to be able to pay it off as I can with out losing everything we own.

Yesterday I spent the day with oncologists planning surgery to remove a large mass on my ovary. Everything happened so quickly. I went to my Primary Care Doctor on Thursday and by Tuesday I was facing very scary surgery. The mass may or may not be malignant but it is making me very ill and has to come out. The surgery is expensive and involves several days in the hospital. The first words out of my mouth to my PCP were “Send me to UNC they will work with me on a payment plan I can afford”. I did not say get me the best oncologist. I think UNC has the best but I should not have to think about cost first.

I am in debt for health care now due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I live a very healthy lifestyle. I am 49 years old am unlucky enough to have a Progressive form of MS and now have to have radical surgery and I do not know what else. I am trying not to think of the cost.

Congressman Price when I was in his office in Washington in March thought everyone with MS automatically gets disability and Medicare. I can’t get it. We are middle class homeowners who were scraping by with one major illness. Now we have two major illnesses to deal with to deal with.

My Doctors feel badly because I do all the right things and yet I have bad luck and bad genetics. I want to pay my medical bills and will but I do not think in this country people should lose their homes or retirements over a hospital bill.

As a person with Multiple Sclerosis I find it egregious for Speaker Tillis to tell me I should blame others who need government assistance for not being needy enough. He is pitting the disabled against the elderly, poor, and children? I have heard this argument before and it is smoke an mirrors. The truth is the plan is to stop the funding to Medicaid by 2014 when more people will qualify for it. It is a way to stop the Affordable Car Act by stopping the funding. It is morally and practically a bad idea.

I was recently at a Medicaid Legislative Meeting fighting for funding. This may seem odd since I do not qualify for any government assistance. I am not paid to be there but it pays all of us to be engaged in the lack of funding for Medicaid. When reimbursement to Medicaid Doctors gets cut the cost gets shifted to everyone on private insurance. Most Medicaid Doctors are now in hospital corporations so the cost gets spread out to everyone with private insurance.

My individual case is like the health care system in this country. I worked and in the old days my insurance covered most everything and I really did not need it so I was happy. Then the premiums, etc went up but I could pay for things. Now I am really sick and the insurance is high, my savings is gone, and I have to do with out a lot medically.

I bet Speaker Tillis never has to stare at his wife at 1 AM wishing he could take her to the ER when she is screaming in pain like my husband did last night.

Who should we blame Speaker Tillis? I blame those cutting Medicaid. We have hard times and hard decisions but cutting social programs hurts everyone. People who are sick, poor, or elderly have real and complicated problems which can not be described in a sound bite or political punch line.

YouTube Preview ImageIt would be easy at this moment in History to listen to the hype in the media and look at the divisions in both State and the Federal Legislatures and feel hopeless. In both instances the tool du jour is the log jam. The log jam has lots of power. A few logs can stop a whole flow. However pressure builds and finally there is a massive explosion. For those of us waiting for the explosion this can be very depressing.

I am not depressed because I believe in Americans of all kinds. We generally are people who on a day today basis work together. I went and listened to Jon Stewart’s speech at the “Rally to Restore Sanity”.

As Jon Stewart said “We work together every darn day. The only place we don’t is here ( Washington D.C.) or on cable TV. He went on to say we live our lives by doing things we do not necessarily want to do and by compromising everyday.

The main thing I learned from the UNC debt crisis roundtable this Monday was perception is everything when it comes to the domestic and international financial markets. What the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are telling the world is we as a nation cannot handle our debt problem and we cannot be trusted to pay our debt back. In essence we are telling the world we are no longer a super power.

We as Americans should be very angry at these legislators for tying the debt ceiling to the debt crisis. The debt ceiling should have been voted on by itself. Yes the national debt trajectory has to be changed through both revenue and cuts but it cannot be solved in a few hours. Read More