Instead, I’ve been trying my best to manage my pain with over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol and at-home remedies because those are all I can afford. Even for these, I’m quickly draining the money I’d saved for retirement.
I worry every day about what I’ll do when that money runs out — especially when the pain becomes unbearable and I have to make the difficult decision to go to the emergency room. Each time I go, I have to pay out-of-pocket. Those visits cost me at least $300, sometimes much more. With my savings running low, I know there will come a time when I won’t be able to afford this kind of last-resort option either.
When I’m discharged from the emergency room, the doctors send me home with referrals, urging me to see specialists so I can get the care and treatment my body needs. But I can’t — those offices won’t even book an appointment with me until I have insurance.
If Texas expanded Medicaid, I’d be able to actually see those doctors who could help me get my body fixed — rather than just patching it up at the ER while I suffer through painful, fixable problems.
I want to be able to see a doctor. I want to feel relief from the pain that is getting worse every day. I want to be able to work. I want to be able to take care of myself and improve my quality of life.
Close the Medicaid coverage gap, in Texas and everywhere else.