by Rosa Nixon, a hard-working home care provider, member of SEIU, tax-payer and woman of faith from Orange, VA.
Like many of you, I’ve been following the General Assembly as they debate Medicaid Expansion. I listen to politicians as they talk abstractly about budget items, work requirements, health care stats, and polling data.
Lost in this debate, however, are the stories of real Virginians who work hard every day, but who are forced to go without healthcare because they fall into the coverage gap.
Hard-working Virginians like me.
My name is Rosa Nixon. I’m a home care provider, a union member, and a tax-payer who lives in Orange, Virginia.
I have worked as a home care provider for 8 years, helping older adults live independently in their homes and communities. I get them up in the morning. I bathe them, dress them, feed them. I make sure they stay active, see their friends and family, and age with dignity.
I love the work I do because I love helping people. Thanks to me, older adults stay healthy and their families can feel good that their loved ones are being cared for.
However, home care is hard work. Lifting people in and out of bed and the bath every day has caused me serious back pain. But I can’t go see a doctor because I don’t have healthcare.
I’m one of the 400,000 Virginians who fall in the coverage gap. Like the vast majority of us, I work hard but don’t have employer-based healthcare and don’t qualify for subsidies to buy insurance.
Despite not having healthcare, I went to the doctor a few years ago when the pain got unbearable.
I left with a $7,000 bill, which I’m still paying off.
I won’t do that again.
That’s why working people like me are making our voices heard for Medicaid Expansion.
With Medicaid Expansion, I could finally go to the doctor to get help with my back pain. I could get the eye glasses I need. I could get the breast exams I’ve been skipping.
It’s terrible to be without healthcare. I depend on the Lord to keep me healthy because I can’t depend on my job.
I invite you to join me in calling on the General Assembly to do everything in their power to expand Medicaid so that hard-working Virginians like me can finally get the life-saving healthcare we so desperately need.