On any given day, I see at least five crowdfunding pleas for help with medical bills. Usually, many more. Sites like gofundme, youcaring, and others like them have seen a huge spike in crowdfunding for medical related costs. Some of these are asking for simple help to replace broken glasses, some are asking thousands of dollars to help deal with ongoing serious medical issues. We all see them, most of us wish would could donate to every single one we see.
When Wyatt’s formula was denied by the insurance, the most common question people asked me is if we started a gofundme page (I did not). In our little community, it’s very common to see links to crowdfunding for chronically ill children’s healthcare costs that are simply too expensive for the average family to absorb. I fear this will only get worse with the reversal of ACA and the limit to pre-existing conditions.
One of the most terrible, ignorant, and mean spirited, not to mention selfish defenses of this reversal, and the subsequent cuts to Medicaid and Medicare is to force low income families to quit “living off of the government” be self-reliable, and eliminate “welfare queens”. (I find it ironic that statements like these are made by men who have tax payer covered lifetime FREE healthcare). Let me just stop you right there. Many families who have Medicaid have it because they live with chronic illness. People who are on Social Security for disability in states like mine qualify for Medicaid, because of the high costs medical care chronically and severely ill people need to stay alive. Are cases of welfare fraud there? Absolutely, this is not a perfect world, but research has proved that the rare fraud cases are vastly outweighed by the real need cases. The two stories that the over inflated, (fully TAXPAYER medically covered) well paid Senators can dig up to throw around on Welfare Fraud are both outdated, and out of the norm.
Cutting Medicaid and Medicare puts those who are most vulnerable at even more risk, it perpetuates the much-hated cycle of poverty, and makes illnesses that could be well managed for the best quality of life, and ability to provide for a family, immediately life threatening even more expensive, and unmanageable to the point where people will die from lack of access to quality and continued health care. Yes, it’s true that anyone can go to the emergency room and receive care by law. But that ER bill? If you can’t pay for regular health care, how will you pay for a $600+ ER bill? People who would have had access to their regular doctor, for regular health management will be severely limited in the health care they will be able to seek, and will likely wait until they are in a life-threatening stage until they seek care from the ER, because they have to serve them, even if they can’t pay. Does this mean they won’t receive a bill? HAHAHA. No, just because the ER has to serve them, does not mean they will do it for free. So, the choice comes then, seek medical care from the ER, or feed your children and have a place to live.
Do we really live in a country that people have to ask themselves, “is it cheaper for me to go to the ER, or to die”? Because ultimately, that is what low income families have to face, how long can you wait before you HAVE to go in because the money just isn’t there, and if you wait too long, you could very likely die.
When did we become a country that has become ok with gofundme accounts for healthcare? When did we decide that because someone had the luck of being healthy and therefore could afford to have a home and low debt, that their life mattered more than someone with a pre-existing condition, who is uninsurable, and whose family has amassed a huge amount of debt and have or will bankrupted themselves to keep their child alive. Why are you, in your comfortable home, vacations to Disneyland, more important than a child with a chronic illness? Since when did we think it was ok to cut healthcare, and force the humiliation of begging strangers for money so we can live, instead of helping as many people as we can?
How long would you survive without access to quality healthcare if you suddenly had a horrific car accident, or found out after a relatively healthy life that you had cancer? Do you understand that we are ALL so close to being lumped in with so called “welfare queens” and drains on the system, (because apparently those defending these changes, cannot seem to understand the difference between the few fraudulent claims and truly needy people)? Don’t you understand that no one’s life is more worth living than another, and children, the elderly, and the ill suffer the very most from the privilege of the healthy.
Remember kids, no one’s life is worth more than another, people don’t chose to be sick, and children do not deserve to suffer because you are selfish. Check your privilege, remember that anyone can get sick, being so angry about people needing help will only make you a terrible person and give you an ulcer, and show up for people, because you might be the only one that does. We are humans, don’t lose your humanity.
And don’t even get my started-on people being more willing to donate money to a crowdfund for potato salad than they are to someone who is dying (but doesn’t have too)…. We’ll save that rant for another day.