A Collection of Problems with the US Health Care System

Disabled. Ohio. Statement 10194.

Categories: Patient Statements
Tagged as:

State:: Ohio

Occupation:: Disabled

I am writing this letter to tell my story about the short comings in healthcare provided by Medicare. Both my wife and I are disabled and on Medicare. The medications we are prescribed are teratogenic, meaning they are known to cause fetal deformities. In short, we don’t want to produce a fetus that is not compatible with life. We wanted to have a baby and have tried to change medications to less risky medications, but for various reasons we are unable to successfully move to a drug that poses little to no risk to a fetus.

Medicare does cover birth control pills which are wonderful for disabled women under 35, but the compassion toward people in our condition ends there. We are over 35 years old. Currently we have to use the least preferred method of birth control because Medicare does not cover sterilization procedures for men or women.

Medicaid will cover sterilization procedures; however, we don’t qualify for Medicaid because before my disabling event I was upper management in my career plan making almost 8 times the poverty level. Today, thanks to our previous income level, we are just above the limits to qualify for Medicaid. One loophole many people in our situation consider is divorce.

Divorced my wife’s income would qualify her for Medicaid. But why should I have to break the binding contract I have with my wife so we can obtain better healthcare? For me this is a moral issue with many layers. In my opinion, the most moral and compassionate way to deal with this is to cover procedures supplied by Medicaid at the 80/20 that is already covered by Medicare.

Finally, I’d like to point out just how exclusionary this seems to me. Medicaid’s primary consumer is not the disabled but the poor. As the policies currently stand, our society seems to be saying for poor people sterilization is a medically necessary procedure but for disabled people, who are often prescribed teratogenic medications, it is not. This places the disabled person at unnecessary risk of a pregnancy with a strong chance of very poor outcome for fetus, mother and family. Who wants to find themselves coping with medication caused miscarriages or birth defects and coping with a chronic debilitating disease at the same time? No one, that’s who. It is time for the federal law makers to get out of my wife’s uterus and allow us the freedom to pursue happiness in our bedroom just like able bodied people do: with health insurance that covers the same procedures available to everyone else at little to no cost.