Momsrising #2  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is the most recent information

-----Original Message-----
From: julia.m.goodman On Behalf Of Julia M Goodman
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 2:20 PM
To: Santiago, Megan
Subject: Re: Megan Santiago: Follow-up on Your MomsRising Healthcare Comment

Hi Megan,

We're planning on posting the blog below as your entry. Can you look it over and let me know if it looks ok. Also, please feel free to edit.

Did you find another photo you'd like me to use? The photos of your girls are great, but a little hard to see as the blogger photo is pretty small. If you happen to have a close up, that would be ideal.

Thanks again Megan!


Megan, Tustin

I moved back to Tustin, CA in December 2006 after leaving a man who had been abusive and a marriage that was falling apart. While I was looking for work, we were on Medi-Cal but I did not want to stay on for long because I felt others needed it more than me.

In February 2007, I got a job through a temp agency and I looked for medical insurance. I made $62 above the max to qualify for Healthy Families and I did not qualify any more for Medi-Cal. At first, my temp agency did not offer medical insurance, but then I qualified half way through the year but it was about $600 a month. I was already using my 401K money to help pay my bills – there was no way I could afford medical through my employer. I looked into other plans such as Blue Cross, but for two kids there was no way I could afford to pay the costs to get insurance on my own. I prayed nightly so that we would not get really sick.

Finally, in December of 2007 I was hired on at the company I had been temping with (after 10 months) and started us on the healthy path. But the damage of 2007 has hit us hard.

Because we had no dental insurance for so long both of my girls' teeth went bad. In 2007, my oldest daughter's teeth started to hurt a lot but there was no thing I could do. To repair the damage, she's needed two root canals. I can't afford some of the other treatment for her and her sister because the costs (even with insurance) are too high.

Not having health insurance also affected my daughter's education. My oldest has been diagnosed with ADD, ODD and she has a lisp. She has a tough time in school and the school has put her into special programs now. The school even tried to help us get help for medical insurance so we could get her on medicine. They have noticed that with her medication, her behavior at school is like night and day. My oldest daughter is finally on her much needed medication but at a cost – she may be held back a grade because she is not where she needs to be.

As a single mom, my duties are to my children. I am the one who is taking care of them. I try to provide the best I can for my girls. I have chosen to struggle where I am so my girls can attend some of the best schools in the state so they can be where they need to be to survive. Insurance is important to families like me because it takes one less source of stress out of our lives. It makes us feel like we are going to be okay and not have to think about what bill we won't be able to pay because we had to see the doctor today.

Please stop and take a look around and really listen to those of us who are just barely getting by. We are the ones that want our children to have their needs met and struggle because we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Please stop and listen to our children who don't see the struggle we go through because we are strong women, but who suffer because they lack the proper education, the proper medical insurance, and the proper dental insurance. They are still great kids because they never truly understand that they are lacking because, as strong mothers, we cry when they are asleep. No mother should suffer the heartache of watching her child in pain and not being able to seek medical care. Especially in this economic downturn, our leaders must prioritize the health of our children.

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