Dear Congressman, Thank You For Your Vote
Last week, I wrote about the healthcare bill that passed in the House of Representatives, also known as Trumpcare. You can read it here. I challenged you to email, write or call your representative about how he or she voted and to give feedback based on their vote. I wanted to share my letter in which I thank my Congressman for his vote against AHCA. Next week, I’ll share my letter to my Senators about why they need to work across the aisles to change this bill so that it doesn’t negatively affect so many of us in the chronic pain community. Feel free to steal from my letters if you want to reach out to your member of Congress.
I am Pro-human. Pro-decency. Pro-morals. Pro-healthcare.
Based on your vote against the AHCA bill, I am grateful that you are, too. For that, I want to thank you.
I am an American with multiple pre-existing conditions, one occurring at birth. When continuous, non-stop migraine attacks became an everyday reality in my 30s, I eventually had to leave the workforce during my prime income-earning years. Since then I have turned my focus into writing about my condition and becoming an advocate for those with chronic pain. I encounter people every day via social media who are looking for answers, support, and education. I hear their personal stories about the pain they are in, the misunderstanding of their disease, and the difficulty in making ends meet. I know their pain. We are the ones who would be the most affected if AHCA is passed by the Senate in its “as-is” state, especially if the pre-existing condition provision remains.
I lived in DC for four years before moving to your district in 2016. I’ve stomped on Capitol for the past three years during an event called “Headache on the Hill.” I’ve talked to Senators, Congressman and their health legislative staff about appropriating NIH funds to migraine research. When it comes to healthcare, I believe that healthcare has no party.
I hit the insurance jackpot when ACA was enacted in 2014. Within months of the opening of the Healthcare Exchange, I had to stop working due to the debilitating chronic migraine disease that began one day without warning. This meant I was now without employer-sponsored coverage. I was in the process of applying for SSDI, but knew it would be a long process. If I was approved, it would take two more years to be eligible for Medicare. I needed healthcare. If not for Obamacare, my health would have deteriorated further.
When Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said, “nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare,” he was DEAD wrong. According to the American Journal of Public Health, 45,000 people died annually from lack of health insurance prior to the enactment of Obamacare. Estimates on the same statistics after Obamacare are not available, however, it can be concluded that this number is declining as currently 30 million Americans who did not have coverage previously, are now covered, thereby providing access to care. It’s ignorant comments like these that that lead us to bills such as AHCA.
If the House bill passes, many of my family members and friends (whether in-person friends of social media friends) could not afford coverage, thereby causing them to become sicker. Thhank you for voting against Trumpcare on behalf of your constituents. I hope that those in the Senate will show that they are also Pro-human. Pro-morals. Pro-decency. Pro-healthcare.
Katie M. Golden
Arte Cluster is a project founded to raise awareness of cluster headache through art. Arte Cluster Project is an independent project founded and managed by Claudio Geraci, a chronic sufferer, and Francisca Mesa, a supporter.
I’m so thrilled to share a third work of art by Lisa Benson, artist and writer for Migraine.com. Lisa says of this piece:
I’m sitting at the original muscle beach in Santa Monica by the pier. In the middle of the swinging rings, balance beams, ropes and slack lines, there is a large patch of astroturf dedicated to yoga. At times there can be 50 or more people crowding the space- all wanting to practice, learn or support…