Speak Your Piece: Legislating Chad’s Future
[imgbelt img=chadhospital320.jpg]Hearing her congressman call the health reform bill “socialist,” a Missouri woman takes up the pen. Her family’s future depends on reliable medical insurance.
The Honorable Sam Graves (Missouri, 6th District)
U.S. House of Representatives
1415 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Congressman Graves:
I am Mandy Ottmann, daughter of Rick and Linda Oswald. I have lived outside of Rock Port near Langdon, Missouri, my whole life. Fifteen years ago Chad Ottmann and I were married. We are now self-employed just as we have been for the entire 15 years of our marriage.
[imgcontainer left] [img:chadhospital320.jpg] [source]WC Farmer
Chad’s brother Shane, who is a doctor himself, has a friend at Sloan-Kettering in New York who was able to get Chad an appointment with one of the best head and neck surgeons in the U.S., and also with an excellent endocrinologist who could treat the cancer effectively after surgery.
Luckily, we had health insurance when we discovered his cancer – or Sloan-Kettering wouldn’t have touched him. The hospital required proof of adequate health insurance before they would agree to make Chad’s appointments.
Thanks to the care Chad received from the physicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, his cancer will be managed as a chronic illness. None of the prognoses offered by local doctors came to pass, because Chad got the proper treatment he needed. Even so, Chad’s cancer will be with him until the day he dies. His life depends upon continued treatment and insurance coverage to pay for it.
Chad and I were only 30 years old when we were told he had 10 years to live! At that time our two children were ages five and one; it was unacceptable to me that I could lose my young husband so early in our married lives. This leads me to my point: we need health insurance for the REST of our lives so that Chad can continue to receive the care he needs to manage his cancer. We pay the cost of trips to New York City out of our pockets each time, but without insurance we could never afford to pay the cost of treatments that Chad’s life depends on.
[imgcontainer left] [img:chad-month320.jpg] [source]Mandy OttmannChad Ottmann: one month after surgery. He and his wife are self-employed and carry insurance with a high deductable. Under the new federal law, the Ottmanns cannot be dropped by their insurance carrier.