Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Mr. President (A Personal Letter to a Republican We All Know...Of)

Dear President Bush,

I am sending this email to urge you to sign the SCHIPS bill that was
passed by overwhelming majority in the Senate and House this past week.

I am a mother of two special needs children. One child is a recipient of
SSI and Medical Assistance. His name is Sandis, he is seven years old,
and he has an autism spectrum disorder. My daughter, Gracie, is age four
and has a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes, and asthma.
She currently receives Medicaid for low income famlies as she is not
disabled enough to receive SSI (nor should she!)

If you do not sign this bill, my daughter will lose eligibility for her
Medicaid next year when I receive my annual raise. Gracie has primary
insurance through my employer, but should she lose the Medicaid, I would
no longer be able to afford to provide her with very basic therapies she
currently receives which allow her to be a high functioning young child
despite the limitations of her cerebral palsy.

I am an employed tax-payer. I do not qualify for many welfare benefits,
outside of my son's SSI and MA and my daughter's Medicaid (which she
receives because I fall less than $200 dollars under the annual allowable
income to qualify).

Should you choose to not sign this bill, you are taking away my daughter's
basic medical support system.

And for what?

We should encourage families to be self sufficient, and we should
encourage non-working families to work, but what encouragement is there
when working families cannot care for their children medically (with or
without disability?) Should my daughter lose her Medicaid, I would have
three options:

1. Stop her occupational and physical therapy which trains her body,
weakened by cerebral palsy, to do basic day-to-day tasks.
2. Quit my job and apply for a job that pays less, so I can qualify for more federal benefits and Gracie would continue to have health coverage so her many
therapies would still be covered at an affordable rate.
3. Force my family into debt and poverty in order to pay for therapies I cannot afford. (My daughter's therapies, copays and %'s, are approximately $90 a week
after my insurance has paid their portion.)

I am one family.

You can choose to help the children of your nation, or you can choose to look the other way.

Please be a hero.


Sarah Rittmann


Karma said...

Nicely worded letter. I just found your blog, and I love your family story. I hope everything goes well for you.

Unknown said...

God d*mn f*cking Bush! I hate this kind of loophole, and I'm so sorry you even have to be thinking about these kinds of choices. I'm sure there are thousands more who fall into this kind of limbo-land loophole, and I can't wait until this wonderful country finally gets it right and elects a president who values health care and health insurance and its people--all of them.