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LETTERS

Many will lose health insurance if ACA ends

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Dawn Cogger

Monday, March 20, 2017

I’ve prayed, cried, written letters, and called representatives and senators about more than one topic, but especially about health insurance for all. It is very close to my heart, mind and soul.

I am a woman, mother, grandmother, wife, and retired nurse who worked for more than 35 years. I’m also a retired spiritual director of over 25 years, an artist and a writer.

As a nurse I worked with newborns — both sick and well — pediatrics, spinal cord injuries, persons needing long-term care, the education of health care staff, and in infection control. I’ve also worked selling pharmaceutical services, providing outreach education in clinical settings, and served as a state investigator of abuse and neglect in health care.

I worked as a student nurse in general hospital clinics as well as private hospitals before patients’ rights became a law; and was embarrassed for the patients and appalled by the lack of personal physical privacy. I worked when Medicare was born and remember how confusing it was; in fact, I hated it at the beginning. I’ve worked with all kinds of people in situations and seen what insurance does and doesn’t do; how difficult it can be for a patient to understand the policy (let alone understand it myself).

A nurse is to be the patient’s advocate, meeting the patient where they are in life and who they are. Having respect and dignity for persons of all ages, genders, races, religions or none, whether one can work or not, have health insurance or not, is paramount.

And I’ve learned that systems put above humanity don’t work.

I’m for refining the Affordable Care Act. It’s much easier to work with an already-made framework. Let’s not throw it out and have some people lose the dignity and respect of having one’s own health insurance. Some people don’t have enough income for a tax credit to make the difference to retain the proposed health insurance. The new plan being proposed by congressional Republicans certainly will benefit those who make money in the many thousands of dollars, as well as the millions and billions of dollars.

What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? What are your values? What are your favorite things to do?

None of us are self-sufficient (being self-sufficient is a delusion); we don’t know what we’ll be handed in life. Consider just one of many possible life situations.

This situation is real. A friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She ran her own business for more than 25 years as well as kept her own home. She also has two adult children who are on their own, and two that are sophomores in college. Due to the disease and treatments she can’t work and she needs the ACA. ... What would you do?

Dawn Cogger

Elizabeth City

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