The Truth, In Letters

This is where we aim to publish open letters to politicians, universities, hospitals, businesses – basically, any institution or public person who is working against making life accessible for you, as someone with an invisible illness, disease, or disability. If you prefer to post with a pseudonym, we will work with you to keep your letter as anonymous as possible. This is where we want you to be brutally honest, and say what is really going on in the world.

First Up: Dear Rick Scott

Hey ‪#‎dickscott‬, this is the result of your policies.

I’m a 25 year old college student, teacher, and entrepreneur. I’m the 1st generation in my family to go to college and the 3rd person in my entire extended family to start their own business.

At 16 I started suffering from severe digestive issues. At 19 I was diagnosed with Crohns disease. By 20, I could never get another health insurance policy because my mother was laid off and I had a preexisting medical condition. Since then I have struggled to get and maintain heath insurance so I can be treated by the medical professionals who understand my condition.

When ACA passed I thought I was finally going to be able to get the medical attention I needed. The preexisiting condition clause was banished! But alas, I have been told every year since ACA passed that I don’t make enough money to qualify for coverage. I’m also told that I don’t deserve medicaid because I’m not a minor, I’m not pregnant, and I’m not legally disabled.

Now Mr. ‪#‎RickScott‬ here is the genuine kicker. I am disabled. I applied for disability twice, and was denied twice, but that’s all part of the normal process. So I consulted with a lawyer, also part of the normal process (here in Florida) to qualify for disability, I was told. The lawyer assured me I could qualify for disability. However, he warned me that I would most likely have to forfeit my full time status as a student, causing me to lose my financial aid and scholarships. He also advised me that I could not hold the position as founder and director of my business, should I go on disability. Who wants to do that?
Now before you offer, yes I have applied to the Healthcare District, who sees my financial aid as income and assets and tells me I make too much money to qualify for their coverage.

So, Mr. ‪#‎floridagovernor‬ I ask you, how does preventing me from bettering myself and trying to build my own business while obtaining a BA degree mean I don’t deserve Healthcare? BUT should I choose to give up everything I have been working my entire adult life for, to essentially become a ward of the state, I can not only get full coverage but also a pay check from the state?

Here are pictures of my current health condition that doesn’t deserve medical coverage. I have had MRSA since December, I became infected as a result of a 4 month bout of shingles. I can’t walk, sit, or drive, without experiencing excruciating pain. I still get up and go to work everyday I can. I have an autoimmune disease as well, which chooses to flare up every time another part of my body is under stress. So I have been sick since August and denied by all agencies who are supposed to help me find affordable treatment. And because of my age, my invisible illness, and lack of medical coverage, the hospitals treat me like a homeless drug addict.

I just want to say thank you. Your shitty policies have made me one the strongest people you will ever have the pleasure of learning about. Your lack of empathy and selfish policies have ignited and fueled a passion in me to change the world and I have already started to do so. Thanks to you I have been in OVER half a MILLION dollars of medical debt since I am 18. I have worked hard all by myself, with almost no support from anyone, including the government. I have learned to deal with and overcome a tremendous amount of mental and physical stress and keep going. And if it wasn’t for you I would probably have no idea what struggle really means.

‪#‎florida‬ ‪#‎riskcscottsucks‬ ‪#‎obamacare‬ ‪#‎medicaid‬
‪#‎channel5‬ ‪#‎floridastatesenate‬ ‪#‎carajennings‬

Photo courtesy of Melissa Corichi