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Hello. My name is Nita and at the beginning of this April I turned 64 years old. I have Diabetes, painful arthritis, Sleep Apnea, and hyperexotropia in my eyes, which results in double vision and makes driving difficult.   
I have been unemployed for over 5 years now although I applied and applied and applied  to many, many jobs. I received almost no job interviews- I presume that employers prefer younger employees. I used up all my savings and was about to be put out on the street in North Carolina when my brother told me that I could live  in his house in Churchville, Virginia. I am now living there on early Retirement Social Security Benefits- a total of $635 a month, with $44.00 a month in Food Stamps. I cannot afford Insurance, health care, or most medications.
I applied for Medicaid combined with Disability last year but was denied both in November of 2013. I was told that pain is irrelevant in regards to Disability eligibility and that my conditions are not severe enough to warrant Disability as I do not yet have to use Insulin for my Diabetes and I am not bedridden. I am therefore not eligible for Medicaid because I do not have a young child and I am not yet 65 years old.
I live alone in my brother’s very old rural house in Churchville as he is currently working in West Virginia. The house has little insulation and lots of cracks in the storm windows so even though I kept my house temperature in the mid-50’s all winter and wear warm clothing, the fuel bills have been about $375 each month. I just got the fuel tank refilled this month and the bill is $589.00. That’s almost as much as I get for the whole month.  How am I going to pay for that??
There are no stores and no public transportation in Churchville so I have to rely on my 1996 Oldsmobile to get me to Staunton for all my food and other needs. The car needs work, but I have no money for it, which is a bit scary as there is no other way to get anywhere. Gas is expensive and I often do not have sufficient money for gas to get to Staunton by the end of the month.
Yesterday I went for “Intake” to the Augusta County free “Medical Home Clinic” in Fishersville for the first time.  I was prescribed a medication to help me breath at night as my sinuses get clogged up each night. The Generic medication cost $85.00 so of course I could not afford it and will have to continue to do without.  
 I cannot afford regular health care. I cannot afford Health Insurance. I cannot afford the medications I need. I cannot get sufficient support within the current Medicaid system for any medications I need, even at a “free” clinic.  What will happen if I start to need drugs for my Diabetes or other ailments before I turn 65??
 Medicaid Expansion would ensure that I get ALL the health care I need. It will also cover about 400,000 uninsured others in Virginia who are currently employed on low-salary jobs. Without Medicaid Expansion I, and others in similar situations, will probably die well before we should due to lack of finances for the health care we need.
Nita W, Charlottesville. 

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Hello. My name is Nita and at the beginning of this April I turned 64 years old. I have Diabetes, painful arthritis, Sleep Apnea, and hyperexotropia in my eyes, which results in double vision and makes driving difficult.   

I have been unemployed for over 5 years now although I applied and applied and applied  to many, many jobs. I received almost no job interviews- I presume that employers prefer younger employees. I used up all my savings and was about to be put out on the street in North Carolina when my brother told me that I could live  in his house in Churchville, Virginia. I am now living there on early Retirement Social Security Benefits- a total of $635 a month, with $44.00 a month in Food Stamps. I cannot afford Insurance, health care, or most medications.

I applied for Medicaid combined with Disability last year but was denied both in November of 2013. I was told that pain is irrelevant in regards to Disability eligibility and that my conditions are not severe enough to warrant Disability as I do not yet have to use Insulin for my Diabetes and I am not bedridden. I am therefore not eligible for Medicaid because I do not have a young child and I am not yet 65 years old.

I live alone in my brother’s very old rural house in Churchville as he is currently working in West Virginia. The house has little insulation and lots of cracks in the storm windows so even though I kept my house temperature in the mid-50’s all winter and wear warm clothing, the fuel bills have been about $375 each month. I just got the fuel tank refilled this month and the bill is $589.00. That’s almost as much as I get for the whole month.  How am I going to pay for that??

There are no stores and no public transportation in Churchville so I have to rely on my 1996 Oldsmobile to get me to Staunton for all my food and other needs. The car needs work, but I have no money for it, which is a bit scary as there is no other way to get anywhere. Gas is expensive and I often do not have sufficient money for gas to get to Staunton by the end of the month.

Yesterday I went for “Intake” to the Augusta County free “Medical Home Clinic” in Fishersville for the first time.  I was prescribed a medication to help me breath at night as my sinuses get clogged up each night. The Generic medication cost $85.00 so of course I could not afford it and will have to continue to do without.  

 I cannot afford regular health care. I cannot afford Health Insurance. I cannot afford the medications I need. I cannot get sufficient support within the current Medicaid system for any medications I need, even at a “free” clinic.  What will happen if I start to need drugs for my Diabetes or other ailments before I turn 65??

 Medicaid Expansion would ensure that I get ALL the health care I need. It will also cover about 400,000 uninsured others in Virginia who are currently employed on low-salary jobs. Without Medicaid Expansion I, and others in similar situations, will probably die well before we should due to lack of finances for the health care we need.

Nita W, Charlottesville. 

Click to read: Place Lives ahead of Party Politics, for a change!
I am the coverage gap. I am a single 41 year old male. I save medicaid thousands of dollars per month by caring for my 99 year old grandmother at home without pay, rather than place her in a nursing home at medicaid’s expense. I do not qualify for medicaid even though I have a zero income. I have to cross the state line, into Kentucky to receive potentially life saving cancer screenings and hopefully receive treatment if I get bad news. Virginia Republicans hate the president and governor so much, they are willing to let thousands of us die. Their refusal to expand medicaid is 100% political. The southwest region of the state is the poorest and least insured area of Virginia. We are lacking charity hospitals and medical school facilities that have in larger, urban areas of the state. The elected officials that represent these areas are uncaring. I myself and many friends and relatives have contacted our delegate Terry Kilgore. His assistant Gerald Miller yelled, and screamed and said it was all politics. Terry Kilgore admitted that the GOP has no alternative to the expansion of medicaid and refuses to do what is right. People like Kilgore, Ben Chafin and Israel O’Quinn vote 100% on party lines and have demonstrated a lack of care for the people they are suppose to be working for. Call them, vote them out next election and let there heartless jerks know that we will not allow them to obstruct Richmond they way republicans did in DC. We will not accept a shutdown of the state Government from a bunch of rich lawyers who are being paid by drug companies and big business to not expand medicaid. It is high time that these delegates place human lives ahead of party politics and do what is right, for a change!
David D.

Click to read: Place Lives ahead of Party Politics, for a change!

I am the coverage gap. I am a single 41 year old male. I save medicaid thousands of dollars per month by caring for my 99 year old grandmother at home without pay, rather than place her in a nursing home at medicaid’s expense. I do not qualify for medicaid even though I have a zero income. I have to cross the state line, into Kentucky to receive potentially life saving cancer screenings and hopefully receive treatment if I get bad news. Virginia Republicans hate the president and governor so much, they are willing to let thousands of us die. Their refusal to expand medicaid is 100% political. The southwest region of the state is the poorest and least insured area of Virginia. We are lacking charity hospitals and medical school facilities that have in larger, urban areas of the state. The elected officials that represent these areas are uncaring. I myself and many friends and relatives have contacted our delegate Terry Kilgore. His assistant Gerald Miller yelled, and screamed and said it was all politics. Terry Kilgore admitted that the GOP has no alternative to the expansion of medicaid and refuses to do what is right. People like Kilgore, Ben Chafin and Israel O’Quinn vote 100% on party lines and have demonstrated a lack of care for the people they are suppose to be working for. Call them, vote them out next election and let there heartless jerks know that we will not allow them to obstruct Richmond they way republicans did in DC. We will not accept a shutdown of the state Government from a bunch of rich lawyers who are being paid by drug companies and big business to not expand medicaid. It is high time that these delegates place human lives ahead of party politics and do what is right, for a change!

David D.

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I have health insurance through my wife’s employer but cannot afford the deductibles. Therefore I am essentially without healthcare except for extreme cases.
My wife has needed it for a couple of procedures and extensive testing (which we have stopped due to cost) and so our debt load is getting out of hand. I have been searching for a job, but never get a call back. Because I’m unemployed, no one bothers. I’m well educated, possessing a masters degree, but that does not matter. In short, I’m mad as hell. I’m sick of being gouged by [my local] hospital and hounded like an animal for money. Something needs to be done.

Anonymous, Elliston.

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I have health insurance through my wife’s employer but cannot afford the deductibles. Therefore I am essentially without healthcare except for extreme cases.

My wife has needed it for a couple of procedures and extensive testing (which we have stopped due to cost) and so our debt load is getting out of hand. I have been searching for a job, but never get a call back. Because I’m unemployed, no one bothers. I’m well educated, possessing a masters degree, but that does not matter. In short, I’m mad as hell. I’m sick of being gouged by [my local] hospital and hounded like an animal for money. Something needs to be done.

Anonymous, Elliston.

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I was your average 22-year-old American student, living in Virginia Beach. I was relatively healthy as a child except for the occasional bug. I was blessed with a mother who had a job that offered premium health coverage; I wasn’t worried about prescription costs or hospital bills, and insurance was the last thing on my mind.
Then I woke up in the winter of 2011 with no feeling from my belly button down on the left side and paralysis on the right…I couldn’t walk and it seemed that no one could tell me why. After much work, I learned I had transverse myelitis—a condition very similar to multiple sclerosis, where your auto immune system starts attacking your spinal cord and brain. I was immediately told to not worry when the hospital bills started coming in, that there was a medicine to fix everything. Even with coverage under my mother’s health plan, I still had to fight for every MRI, every transfusion, and every treatment needed to help me get better. 
This September I will turn 26 years old, and will no longer be able to get coverage through my mother’s plan. However, because I am still waiting on my approval for disability insurance, I cannot afford any healthcare coverage provided through Virginia’s marketplace at all.
Let’s me make sure you understand here; I’m too sick to work, but still haven’t been covered by Medicare, leaving it to up to me to find coverage and find it fast! I completed the survey online and simply got a response telling me that I meet the standards to apply for free or reduced insurance in my state, only to learn that my state, Virginia, doesn’t cover that. I fell through every gap and the safety net there is available to help sick people like me, and I know I’m not the only one suffering like this. I already have $20,000 in medical debt, and the bills keep coming. Today more than ever, people are struggling to get by. Without insurance I won’t be able to afford my medicine, let alone the MRIs I need done every 6 months to make sure I don’t have any additional spinal cord or brain damage; or the blood tests I get drawn every 3 months to make sure my liver and kidneys aren’t failing from all the medicine I take.
I know people very similar to me, almost the same story, same disease, same age, and everything facing the same problems. I meet these people every time I get stuck at the doctors or visit the pharmacy. Something has to be done!

Megan G.

Click to read my story.

I was your average 22-year-old American student, living in Virginia Beach. I was relatively healthy as a child except for the occasional bug. I was blessed with a mother who had a job that offered premium health coverage; I wasn’t worried about prescription costs or hospital bills, and insurance was the last thing on my mind.

Then I woke up in the winter of 2011 with no feeling from my belly button down on the left side and paralysis on the right…I couldn’t walk and it seemed that no one could tell me why. After much work, I learned I had transverse myelitis—a condition very similar to multiple sclerosis, where your auto immune system starts attacking your spinal cord and brain. I was immediately told to not worry when the hospital bills started coming in, that there was a medicine to fix everything. Even with coverage under my mother’s health plan, I still had to fight for every MRI, every transfusion, and every treatment needed to help me get better. 

This September I will turn 26 years old, and will no longer be able to get coverage through my mother’s plan. However, because I am still waiting on my approval for disability insurance, I cannot afford any healthcare coverage provided through Virginia’s marketplace at all.


Let’s me make sure you understand here; I’m too sick to work, but still haven’t been covered by Medicare, leaving it to up to me to find coverage and find it fast! I completed the survey online and simply got a response telling me that I meet the standards to apply for free or reduced insurance in my state, only to learn that my state, Virginia, doesn’t cover that. I fell through every gap and the safety net there is available to help sick people like me, and I know I’m not the only one suffering like this. I already have $20,000 in medical debt, and the bills keep coming. Today more than ever, people are struggling to get by. Without insurance I won’t be able to afford my medicine, let alone the MRIs I need done every 6 months to make sure I don’t have any additional spinal cord or brain damage; or the blood tests I get drawn every 3 months to make sure my liver and kidneys aren’t failing from all the medicine I take.

I know people very similar to me, almost the same story, same disease, same age, and everything facing the same problems. I meet these people every time I get stuck at the doctors or visit the pharmacy. Something has to be done!

Megan G.

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My daughter removed [my granddaugher] from Medicaid several months ago in an attempt to be self sufficient. Now she is having difficulty and my granddaughter will loose coverage at the end of February. [My granddaughter] is eligible for Medicaid, however, Virginia Medicaid has denied her again. I have always supported medicaid.
I have never used and no one in my family has until now. I think it the right thing to do for humanity. I am angry that I am writing this. It is the civilized thing, but I’m afraid that some of our legislators are not.”
Anonymous, Fairfax.

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My daughter removed [my granddaugher] from Medicaid several months ago in an attempt to be self sufficient. Now she is having difficulty and my granddaughter will loose coverage at the end of February. [My granddaughter] is eligible for Medicaid, however, Virginia Medicaid has denied her again. I have always supported medicaid.

I have never used and no one in my family has until now. I think it the right thing to do for humanity. I am angry that I am writing this. It is the civilized thing, but I’m afraid that some of our legislators are not.”

Anonymous, Fairfax.

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No coverage. We made $20,000 for three people and can’t really afford the free clinic fees at the moment. I am 10 years from 65 with numerous health problems cropping up. I work as a chef in a small town with low wages.
I am a certified court reporter but can’t afford equipment. So we live paycheck to paycheck with no health care except for my son who hasn’t really needed to use it. I come from a family of 5 hard workers who have all paid heavily into a system no one has had to use and now when I need it, it’s not there. It’s shameful. I am stuck in survival mode and will probably die here.”
Anonymous, Lexington.

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No coverage. We made $20,000 for three people and can’t really afford the free clinic fees at the moment. I am 10 years from 65 with numerous health problems cropping up. I work as a chef in a small town with low wages.

I am a certified court reporter but can’t afford equipment. So we live paycheck to paycheck with no health care except for my son who hasn’t really needed to use it. I come from a family of 5 hard workers who have all paid heavily into a system no one has had to use and now when I need it, it’s not there. It’s shameful. I am stuck in survival mode and will probably die here.”

Anonymous, Lexington.

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My husband gets insurance through his employer but adding me would more than double the cost. So I am uninsured.I don’t have any way to pay for annual physicals, exams, routine test, etc. I am currently a stay at home mom, because of the hours my husband works and the fact that we can’t afford childcare.
Anonymous, Henrico County.

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My husband gets insurance through his employer but adding me would more than double the cost. So I am uninsured.I don’t have any way to pay for annual physicals, exams, routine test, etc. I am currently a stay at home mom, because of the hours my husband works and the fact that we can’t afford childcare.

Anonymous, Henrico County.

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I am in my second year of graduate school and also work part-time. My income, including significant assistance from student loans which I will have to pay back with interest, equals less than $15,000 a year. Virginia doesn’t consider this to be sufficient for assistance with health insurance. I now pay an insurance premium that is nearly half what I pay in rent each month. I went back to school, ironically, to complete the prerequisites necessary to apply to medical school.
I look forward to a career in medicine in which I can help provide care for those most in need, especially here in Virginia as the state isn’t doing their share to look out for our most vulnerable citizens.
Adrian H.

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I am in my second year of graduate school and also work part-time. My income, including significant assistance from student loans which I will have to pay back with interest, equals less than $15,000 a year. Virginia doesn’t consider this to be sufficient for assistance with health insurance. I now pay an insurance premium that is nearly half what I pay in rent each month. I went back to school, ironically, to complete the prerequisites necessary to apply to medical school.

I look forward to a career in medicine in which I can help provide care for those most in need, especially here in Virginia as the state isn’t doing their share to look out for our most vulnerable citizens.

Adrian H.

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My husband has not been able to find a job at all now for almost 3 years and he brings in nothing at all. It’s not like he doesn’t look or ask… He tries every day to find just something to help at all but fails every time… Patrick County is just jobless and Henry is the same way.
[My husband] needs his knees worked on real bad. You can hear bone against bone, and he wakes up actually crying in the night with the pain. We can not afford insurance for him nor can we afford to take him to a doctor. If they would just open up the Medicaid program he might be able to get it and then get his knees fixed. Then hopefully he could get at least a part time job doing handy work.
As it is, he can’t get on his knees and do that sort of thing. Otherwise, he is a meat cutter and those jobs are extinct. He is willing to do just about anything to bring in money but there is just nothing here!
Katherine G.

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My husband has not been able to find a job at all now for almost 3 years and he brings in nothing at all. It’s not like he doesn’t look or ask… He tries every day to find just something to help at all but fails every time… Patrick County is just jobless and Henry is the same way.

[My husband] needs his knees worked on real bad. You can hear bone against bone, and he wakes up actually crying in the night with the pain. We can not afford insurance for him nor can we afford to take him to a doctor. If they would just open up the Medicaid program he might be able to get it and then get his knees fixed. Then hopefully he could get at least a part time job doing handy work.

As it is, he can’t get on his knees and do that sort of thing. Otherwise, he is a meat cutter and those jobs are extinct. He is willing to do just about anything to bring in money but there is just nothing here!

Katherine G.