Senator Cory Gardner received another letter from me. Why, you ask? It’s pretty simple: wheelchair bound protesters were abused for stating they wanted to live. And the GOP wants to say that disabled people are a drain on society. No, we’re not. There are many Senators who should be reading my blog right now, and not playing Angry Birds Star Wars Edition. So put down the game handheld, turn off that iPhone, android, or whatever device you are using to distract yourselves, and read my lips. Let me start with my life story in a nutshell:
As a person who is blind, I have read the literature of the National Federation of the Blind, American Council of the Blind, and other kinds of stuff that suggested blind people go through more disturbing forms of discrimination than anything else in the world. Well, I’m living proof that this discrimination is criminally harmful to me and others who are blind and have physical handicaps. Wheelchair bound people are often abused in jails and state care, helpless to stop the abuse in their home lives, etc., so to tell them that they’re going to have their healthcare taken away is tantamount to criminal theft of the people’s lives. I am a passionate advocate for the people, of the people, whatever else you want to say. Senator Gardner I hope does not vote for the bill because of letters like the kind I wrote him today. Abusing people over the removal of Medicaid expansion is wrong, and here’s why:
As a blind person, I use Medicaid to keep my home functionally clean and my caregiver is a fine woman, despite having no car, but she brings a lot of joy to the table when she works and cleans the home. If I didn’t also have my fiance around to make sure the dishes got clean–cooking for two is a drag you know–I would be all alone with nothing but professionals and caregiver staff to look after me. Since I have no friends in the Denver area who can drive me to places like shopping malls, I have to rely heavily on Uber, Lyft, buses, and cabs. Medicaid provides medical transportation to doctor appointments round trip for free in the Colorado area to those who qualify. This saves me a lot of stress, which could lead to other things. Also, nonmedical transportation takes me to places I would like to go like the grocery store or the shopping mall, this way I can save on transport to places that Trenton and I want to go to and we don’t have to worry too much about Uber. IF I had a service dog, this would have been a lot harder to do as there are too many people who’ve reported Lyft and Uber drivers for not staying because of blindness, and not picking up passengers who request them because of their dogs. This is now illegal, and should remain illegal. Medicaid trips can be round trips, but the political games continue, and those trips could be taken away.
Trenton and I have to navigate a healthcare system that demands lots of money if not for Medicaid. What if one of us ends up wheelchairbound because of someone else’s misdeeds? That’s where Medicaid comes in and can save us lots on stress, barriers to access on transport vans, etc. Access a Ride should never charge Medicaid patients, but the rides are expensive. Too expensive. Paratransit would be best suited for working, and I don’t want to have to reevaluate and sign forms for Access a Ride again, not ever, because it’s too complicated and I have to do stuff with doctors in order for this to be possible. Without Medicaid free transportation and carpooling, I would not be able to go to doctor visits. What will happen to my child’s medical coverage if we decide on that? We need the affordable healthcare we deserve as disabled people, not abuse or injury by the cops.
We’re in a political state of turmoil, and as I should tell Senators, we’re so divided, but anyone who says a disabled person is a drain on society should look the other way when they themselves become disabled due to accidental injury or illness, or a child becomes disabled due to birth defects. As a blind person, I’ve been abused by my parents emotionally because all I wanted was to be able to date around, and it was rumored that I was obsessed with boys, even today, it haunts me. I had to block a woman I was working with for years on Facebook because of Blake, and because she made up rumors about me chasing boys. THis is not the case. Because of this, my civil right to marry was denied. Guardianship was instated, but not enough to stop me from leaving the state of Florida, relocating to Colorado, and making a home for myself and my fiance Trenton. We’re planning to get married in a couple of years, but I feel the wedding could be sooner because people are influencing our decisions. It should be ours and ours alone and even with the wise guidance of a brother and sister, I still feel the decision to delay the wedding another full year was irresponsible and cruel on the part of both of us. Marriage is the only way a church will accept us, as most churches practice a Christianity that demands honoring abusive guardians and not living with your significant other for fear of sex. There is nothing to be afraid of with regards to sex, but disabled people are treated as inadequate. Without the birth control I take, I could’ve become pregnant and had a baby too soon. Marriage would stabilize the family and ensure that the kids have two parents, whether it’s mom and mom or mom and dad. So what if my child is gay? I’d still love them, but as a disabled female, I could be scrutinized and questioned more because of mental health concerns. The senators should take a look at how psychiatry is used to drug people illicitly and put them in nursing homes, kill the elders and disabled people the court deems incompetent, etc. I have no reason to believe the guardianship was a protection thing, it’s an abuse thing.
And with this, I wish our President and Senators would outlaw guardianship in the United States because of people like my friend Karen, who was a nurse in Naples, Florida before her relatives hijacked her life and money. Her sisters got guardianship for revenge, and now Karen has to ride in buses full of criminals and she has to deal with dangerous men who follow her around and make her life hell. She needs her civil rights, but challenging the guardianship in my case would be pointless because what if the judge says I can’t go back? I have a family in Colorado, not Florida. So readers, if you really want to write a letter to your Senator, talk to them about how Medicaid allows me to survive without my family. Talk to them about Medicaid being stupid and using the wrong kind of driver to take us to appointments. TAlk about it. Tell your Senator, vote no on the GOP healthcare bill, and don’t let them take Medicaid away from people with disabilities because it’s wrong.