What the New Healthcare Bill Means for Me

I'm a type one diabetic, and currently I pay about $2000 a month in medical expenses. That includes insulin, my insurance premium, medical equipment, doctors visits and the occasional medical procedure. My husband and I are pushed to the brink, despite having pretty decent jobs, and we can't imagine paying any more monthly than we already do. But it looks like the new healthcare bill might just make life harder.


I'm not going to pretend that I'm a politics expert; I'm definitely not. But I know diabetes and I know what it's like trying to get affordable healthcare. Insurance is completely confusing and I don't have it figured out, but I know type 1 diabetics are being taken beyond their financial limits. As a US citizen, I'm more than happy to pay my taxes and work hard make my contributions to this country, but I also expect to have my basic needs taken care of and to attain the right to live. Without access to insulin and other medications that have come to be insanely expensive, I would die.

We are lucky enough to live in a country with medications to treat a huge portion of our illnesses. Great people in history have worked hard to make sure this happened. The men that created insulin were hesitant to patent it because they wanted it to ALWAYS be available to patients. They patented it to protect the quality and entrusted it to The University of Toronto, who then allowed Eli Lilly to manufacture it so it would be widely available. Companies took advantage and "re-patented" after "improvements" were made to the process. A God send medication is now inaccessible to many, including Americans, all because of small tweaks. Scary stuff.

Medications and procedures that are vital to certain pre-existing conditions may become so expensive that it would be financially unattainable for patients. Say insulin skyrockets even more and diabetics are forced to slash doses further; you are left with people who are having to leave blood sugar at dangerous numbers. Remember, we cannot survive without insulin, Type 1s don't produce it at all. We can't just stop eating sugar. Insulin pulls fuel into our cells that is necessary to life. What's being proposed here is a form of slow murder for people on vital meds.

"Fortunate people who live healthy, responsible lives shouldn't have to subsidize care for people who are not so fortunate or responsible," says congressman Mo Brooks. Maybe this mentality exists because we can wipe out a chunk of the nation's financial healthcare burden, as the majority of our country is dealing with some kind of illness.

According to the CDC in 2012, about half of all adults, 117 million people, had one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. And I'll tell you right now, many of those illnesses are unpreventable, or caused by artificial garbage that's allowed on our store's shelves.

For me, this bill means I'll have to make some difficult decisions. We've already sacrificed so much to make our middle class income work for my expensive disease. We've contemplated even leaving the country.

I agree that insurance is too expensive and often way too expensive for those who don't even use it. I can see how that's unfair. But maybe we are missing the bigger picture. Why isn't the government's target drug companies who are dramatically over pricing their products? Now that's the question of the century.

We need to voice our feelings on this, powerfully yet respectfully . Use your free speech in an upstanding and educated way. Let's hope our nation can come to a conclusion that cares for all of its citizens.

not alone.

Karyn Wofford
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Karyn Wofford is a writer with an expertise in lifestyle, wellness and travel. She's a contributor to Livestrong, the Mother Earth Living Blog, A Luxury Travel Blog and Diabetes Forecast. Karyn is also a US Global advocate for T1International. Follow her on Twitter @karynwofford