The more I think about it, the madder I get.
I know I said a piece about Mitt’s comments yesterday, but since then I’ve been thinking about all the people who don’t pay income tax — Mitt most likely included.
There’s my friend, Lynn, who worked in human services all her life for low pay. She’s on Medicare now and she gets Social Security. She’s not on the dole and she’s not looking for a handout.
Then there’s my friend, Mike, who was injured in service to his country, and the woman he would love to marry. She has diabetes and would lose her health care if she married him. She also would love to get a job working with children, but she can’t because most of those jobs don’t come with health benefits.
All three of these people are better Americans than Mitt will ever be.
Then there’s my son, Mike. He worked hard and paid taxes until he got sick. He didn’t have health coverage because a birth defect is a pre-existing condition, and because of that, he couldn’t get the screening tests he needed.
After he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, Mike had to leave his wife to get Medicaid because she had student loan money in the bank. He later divorced her so she wouldn’t be responsible for his student loan debt.
He applied for disability but was turned down twice, even though he had metastatic colon cancer. He finally got approval nearly three years after he first applied, but he was dead nine days before his first check came.
He was one of the “47 percent” after he got sick, but he wasn’t looking for a handout. He wanted to work, but he was too sick. He even tried working a part-time job for a couple months, but he couldn’t even work two hours without a nap.
In the end, everyone got paid except Mike. He never had the dignity of deciding what bills to pay because we all paid his bills for him. Not everyone is lucky enough to have friends and family who love them the way we loved Mike.
My son was not a bum. He was not lazy. He was terminally ill and still couldn’t get what he needed, even though he had paid into the system for 15 years.
These are some of the people Mitt Romney isn’t interested in.
And no Mitt, it wouldn’t help if you were Latino. I have a feeling you would be the same arrogant bastard no matter what your ethnicity.Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.