Commentary: Closing Missouri’s Coverage Gap
Below is an excerpt from an opinion piece written by Racheal Baker of Dexter, Missouri, who is the SEMO organizer with Missouri Health Care for All.
“Even though I worked 40 hours a week, I was unable to afford health insurance for six years and my previous employer didn’t provide it. During that time, I was in and out of the hospital for multiple health issues.
I once had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst cause internal bleeding, which resulted in emergency surgery, a blood transfusion, a hospital stay, three weeks of bed rest and about $30,000 in medical debt. I remember waiting to go to the emergency room until the pain I was in was so unbearable I couldn’t stand up anymore and I feared for my life. Worrying about how much debt I was going to end up with because I didn’t have health insurance almost cost me my life. It was a terrifying experience and I feel very lucky I survived. However, not everyone is so fortunate.
Two Missourians died today because they were unable to afford the health care they needed.
Let that sink in for a moment. Someone’s mom or dad, someone’s sister or brother, someone’s daughter or son, someone’s wife or husband, someone’s grandparent, someone’s friend died today in Missouri because they could not afford to pay for the health care they needed and deserved.
The reason: They are in the coverage gap.”
Read the full story from the Southeast Missourian here.