Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Mike's testimony to the legislators

Testimony of Michael XXXX in Support of SB59

My name is Michael XXXX and I would first like to echo Terri’s gratitude for the opportunity to speak today. My wife has been yoked with the full burden of this issue as evidenced by her testimony.

Rather than be redundant, I would like to add my perspective as the primary breadwinner and head of household.

My son Matthew was a planned blessing. While he slumbered in the womb I read expectant mother books, painted his room, sewed him a quilt, and built his crib from scratch. I once commented to a stranger that I was nesting more than Terri was.

Anticipation gave way to concern when Matthew was born 2 months premature. The next six months our life was like the movie “Groundhog Day” where the main character is forced to relive the same day over and over. Terri & I would wake up each morning, get dressed, and drive to the hospital to sit by Matthew’s bedside.

I can tell you that our concern over all of his medical problems was enough to occupy our thoughts. I never imagined that we would also be faced with financial ruin.

Like most health insurance plans, ours carries a lifetime cap per person. Until this ordeal, I had never heard of a lifetime cap. I thought once you had insurance, you were safe.

Never one to seek a hand out, We first looked into purchasing insurance under HIPAA protection. But no one wanted to cover Matthew since they knew they would lose money. So it was at this point that we turned to the state for help. We were told that we would not qualify for assistance because I earned more than the federal poverty level.

I have never complained about my salary but I could make 20 times what I do now and still not afford Matthew’s initial medical bills.

After exhausting all other options, Terri and I went before the board of trustees for our healthcare and begged them to raise the insurance cap for their members. While not my proudest moment, it saved us from the insulting options that we would have been left with.

As the spiritual leader and provider for your household, how many of you would divorce and purposely make yourself appear to be a “dead beat Dad”?

How many of you would sign away custody of your child, thereby acknowledging your inability to provide for your family?

How many of you would uproot your spouse from her family and lose your pension to move to another state with a safety net? Are you aware that government officials and knowledgeable consultants advise your constituents to do these very things?

I pose to you, are these options you would choose if faced with this dilemma?

Ask yourself, “Is this the example I would set for my children; divorcing my spouse or filling out adoption papers?” Would you want to explain to your son or daughter, that giving them up was just on paper?

Would you spend time discussing or reiterating that mommy and daddy really do love each other, they just have to pretend so they can provide?

As it stands now there is no help in XXXX for the middle class. If you look on your pay stub you will see automatic deductions for Medicaid. In effect, we are paying into a system that we cannot benefit from. This type of income redistribution is the very definition of socialism.

I am asking you to support SB59. Though it wouldn’t help our family, there are others that would be spared the threat of financial ruin. Premiums could be set on a sliding scale based on household income.

I know you are loath to compete with private insurance companies for fear of adversely affecting their business.
I can assure you they are not seeking folks like us as customers.

The testimony that we have given today is from our recent, firsthand experiences and I thank you for listening.


Burg said...

He did an awesome job!

I'm praying for you guys!

Dorky Dad said...

Great testimony. I wish you guys luck tomorrow!

The Special Zipper said...

Brilliant job ... superbly bringing the legislators into your lives and the issue without 'loosing the plot'so to speak and dragging too many emotions in which may turn them away.

10/10 guys

Anonymous said...

Read it on the other site...It's wonderful. I wish you both the best!

~Jennifer said...

Wow. Very eloquently spoken. I would vote for it.