Monday, January 30, 2006

How Medicaid Saved My Life (redux)

It is with some trepidation that i share with you all a story about how Medicaid saved my life. But given the current political climate, this message is an important one, so here I go.....

In february 2003, after a decade-long battle against methamphetimine use, I finally sought out treatment. At the time, I was woefully under-insured and those twenty-eight days that i spent in a drug treatment facility in West Philly simply would not have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid. As I sit here and type away, I definitely consider myself lucky to have nearly 3 years sober and a new lease on life. But in retrospect, it seems doubly lucky that i got help when I did. I remember how my doctors and drug councelors repeatedly stressed durning rehab that "these types of places and treatment options simply may not be here a year from now!" I have to admit, that grim prospect seemed unlikely to me then, yet looking back, those warnings have mostly come true. And the republican plan to slash Medicade funding in a feeble attempt to balance the budget will only make things worse for the low income Americans.

Like many addicts, I come from an alcoholic background. Both my grandfathers & my father returned from WAR with substance abuse issues. It remains my firm belief that their wartime experiences contributed mightily to their tendancy towards alcoholism.

With ~15o,ooo American troops in Iraq and Afganistan, it seems reasonably certain that many will return stateside with a predisposition for chemical dependance. AT A TIME WHEN WE SHOULD BE SPARING NO EXPENSE TO PREPARE FOR THIS EVENTUALITY, THE REPUBLICAN-LED CONGRESS WANTS TO FIX ITS BUDGET MESS BY DENYING LOW INCOME AMERICANS ACCESS TO DRUG TREATMENT.

A rather galling lack of priorities if you ask me, but this example highlights the moral imperative of keeping Medicaid off of Congress' chopping block. After all we ask of Vets and their families, for us to NOT provide a robust network of social services for them is SHAMEFUL! It's also terribly unpatriotic.

I urge you to contact your members of congress and give them an earful. Don't be timid to harass these guys, remember they work for you. If you're not sure how to contact your voice on Capital Hill, check out this link, click on your state and that state's congressional contact info will appear.
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/
bookmark that link!!!!
(This is a re-post of an entry I did a few months ago when no one read my blog:D)

1 comment:

Ben Heller said...

Good post.

Thanks for your honesty and it shows you've won the battle because you're writing about it.

Ben