People Are Dying for Lack of Health Insurance

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People Are Dying for Lack of Health Insurance

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COMMENTARY | According to the CDC, nearly 59 million Americans lack consistent health insurance. Economists will tell you that health care expenses have led many people to file for bankruptcy and health care issues can lead to the loss of a job. If you live without health insurance, your only alternative is to either pay by cash, if you have it, or to utilize the emergency room.

The problem is that the emergency room is expensive, and it won't treat chronic issues or provide testing that can screen for cancer or other disorders before these conditions become life-threatening.

I visited the Oklahoma state capitol building recently to attend a rally for the expansion of Medicaid coverage and spoke with a GOP representative who informed me bluntly that if I lost weight, I wouldn't be disabled anymore.

Dieting will not replace my damaged discs with healthy ones or remove the hemangiomas pressing against my spine and brain stem. It won't get rid of the fibromyalgia or arthritis. I seriously doubt that dieting would cause my thyroid to function normally again. Besides, I'm already a vegetarian and on a strict nutritional plan.

Our conservative Oklahoma politicians seem more concerned with overturning the Affordable Health Care Act than accepting that this will be a cost effective measure and will save many lives. This is an issue that I'm very passionate about because not only does it affect me personally, but there are almost 700,000 uninsured in my home state.

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