I still have hope

By Susan A., Omaha, Nebraska

I can’t really describe the anger I’ve felt following the news about Obamacare repeal attempts. I’m a writer and an editor and I can’t even find the words to describe the outrage I feel.

Repeal is heartless and cruel and unbelievable. Millions of Americans, like my two sons, have serious health issues.

My older son, Peter, was a college undergrad when symptoms of anxiety and depression worsened. He also suffers from alcoholism, which became a critical issue during subsequent years in law school. Thankfully, he received some health care services through school, which ended upon graduation. He has had to go through treatment on a couple of occasions, which was only possible through Obamacare. It’s been a real lifeline for him.

He can’t afford to pay for that kind of treatment out of pocket. While he does currently have a job, it’s a temporary one, so he hasn’t been able to afford health care up to this point.

My younger son, Andrew, has been disabled since about the age of 17 due to extreme anxiety and depression.Two years ago, these health care issues along with the onset of bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder put our family through a tumultuous period.

Andrew experienced a psychosis. He started hearing voices and ended up driving off in his car, only occasionally returning to our community or calling his father when he ran out of gas in another state. The whole situation came to a head when he drove out to New York City.

He was picked up by a police officer and brought to a hospital after they realized how serious his illness was. He was put back on medications he had stopped taking months prior, unbeknownst to us, and lives on state assistance. Today, Andrew relies solely on Medicaid and disability to pay for assisted living. He relies on these services to maintain a relatively normal day-to-day life.

Without these critical services, my sons would not likely make it. And I’m scared for them. Most of their treatments and services, if not all, could be wiped out under the latest proposals from congressional leadership.

Despite the anger and fear that I have felt over the past few months I still have hope for this country.

I try to read other people’s personal stories and they’re heartbreaking. But they remind me that there are still good people out there. People who really care and who want a better country for all Americans. I guess that’s my prayer. I pray that somehow we can come to a better and greater understanding of one another and that we can take care of our country’s needs the way they need to be taken care of.

Originally published at www.ofa.us.