An Open Letter on Healthcare
Last updated: June 2018
We can’t ignore the elephant in the room: healthcare reform. Before this year I hadn’t considered myself a political person at all. I was more of a “go with the flow” kind of guy. I genuinely believed that whatever would be, would be, regardless of my vote or any initiative that I may take.
Then something changed. I had the opportunity to go to my state capitol to share my testimony about how psoriasis has controlled nearly every aspect of my life. How my disease literally has shaped important milestone decisions. I poured out my heart and soul to get my civil servants to understand how step therapy has hurt my life financially and physically and pleaded for them to make changes that would help others like me have better access to life changing medications.
I got a call less than 24 hours after stepping foot of the stoop of the capitol that our requests had been shot down.This was disheartening and a wakeup call for me. I realized that things wouldn’t just be “OK” unless I stepped up and made my vote and my voice count. The point of this article is to share my nonpartisan approach to raising awareness for legislative issues that concern all of us with psoriatic disease.
My open letter
To Whom It Must Concern:
I am a young man living with a chronic illness that has no cure called psoriasis. You may or may not know the specifics of this disease, but you probably do know that it puts me into the category of “burden on the healthcare system.” My treatments are costly and the comorbidities associated with my disease make me high risk for a combination of other pricey conditions.
But I want you to know more...
Let me start by saying that I am not a burden. I am a person. In fact, I am a hard working person that has worked since I was able. I contribute to taxes and the socioeconomic system as a whole. However, even if/when my disease causes me to not be able to work in that sense, I should never be considered a burden.
My life has value. My life is important.
I am raising three boys who will one day be men that also contribute to our country. Every day I try my best to teach them to be responsible and take care of others. I have no doubt that they will be agents of change in this world, and regardless of how my disease is affecting me, I make a point of ensuring it will be a positive change.
Healthcare is not a privilege. It should not be afforded only to those who are the wealthiest in our country. I didn’t do anything to develop this disease. I wasn’t irresponsible or involved in risky behavior. I was just a kid when the plaques that would go on to cover my body started to develop. Is it fair that I should be put in a position to suffer or go into financial ruin in order to have proper treatment?
We deserve health
You may be thinking to yourself, “well get a decent paying job that offers a comprehensive benefits package!” Ah, if it was only that easy. When you are covered from head to toe with lesions that look like leprosy, you are not the top candidate for those well-paying jobs. I have much more of a chance of getting those positions when I am able to access treatment that clears my skin, but by then my disease is considered a pre-existing condition, so I am stuck in a losing cycle.
Please consider the people when you make your decisions. Do not look at statistics; look in your own back yard. There are millions of us. We make up the communities you leave your desk to go back to. We deserve health.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?