Our friend Jessica Hayssen, field rep from the Minnesota AFL-CIO, writes about a health care reform action yesterday afternoon in Congresswoman Bachmann’s district:
Sixth District constituents and union members visited Rep. Michele Bachmann’s St. Cloud office Tuesday afternoon to deliver the message for health care reform. Members from AFSCME Council 5, Education Minnesota, IBEW, Sheetmetal workers, Steelworkers, and Carpenters met with a staffer for over an hour to voice their concerns. Kandice Neubert, daughter of AFSCME Council 5 organizer Beth Walters, shared her personal health care horror story with Michele Bachmann’s office.
Bluestem Prairie is a hip (but not cynical) rural magazine for those who prefer take their corn with a progressive chaser and tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Kandice, 26, and mother of one, was on MNCare when she was working part-time. Like most people, she took advantage of the opportunity to return to full-time work when offered, which made her eligible for health insurance through her employer. However, she was denied coverage due to her pre-existing conditions. She now has insurance through MNCHA through Medica, yet has a very high deductible. The deductible doubles with a family plan to $6000, so her seven year old daughter goes without insurance. As Kandice struggles to pay off her 2008 medical bills through collections, she worries more about how to pay for her treatments rather than how to prevent them and seek immediate medical attention when needed.
No one should have to decide between a trip to the hospital for necessary medical care or a bag of groceries. Kandice told Bachmann’s staffer, “Rep. Bachmann enjoys a robust health insurance plan. Why can’t everyone? Rep. Bachmann is supposed to be helping me. How can that happen when insurance companies are pulling in millions? Health care reform is definitely needed now.”
Read the rest of Hayssen’s moving account in her Deliver Health Insurance Reform Round Up: Part One at the MInnesota AFL-CIO blog. She’s been spending the past months mobilizing union members in Greater Minnesota.