EDITOR’S NOTE: BlackAmericaWeb.com is starting a new occasional feature called “Five Minutes with the President.”
We’re asking African Americans to tell us what they would ask President Barack Obama if they had five minutes with him in the White House.
In this era of fiscal uncertainty, high unemployment, a congressional sequester that is threatening to eliminate government jobs, there are critical questions facing African Americans – and serious questions for the president.
We want to know what you think.
Latoya White, a single mother of three children, is unemployed, struggling with sickle cell disease, and one of 48 million Americans living without health insurance.
“I lost my job because I was in the hospital for three weeks,” said White, 33, who was employed as a clerical worker in a human resource office before she was let go.
White survived, but only after receiving two blood transfusions.
“I almost died because three of my vital organs were beginning to shut down,” White said.
White doesn’t have Medicaid insurance and finds it difficult to manage her illness and care for her children who are 11, 10 and five years old.
Her question to President Obama is simple:
“I would ask him what he plans to do to extend Medicade?” White said.
It’s not too much to ask.
According to the White House, the new health care law builds on what works in the nation’s health care system. More than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
In the past, insurance companies could take advantage of Americans, the White House says.
“They could deny coverage to children who had asthma or were born with a heart defect, put a lifetime cap on the amount of care they would pay for, or cancel your coverage when you got sick just by finding an accidental mistake in your paperwork,” according to the White House website. “The Affordable Care Act creates a new Patient’s Bill of Rights protects Americans from these and other abusive practices.”
White, who lives in Houston, Texas, said there are several government-operated community health clinics in her area, but she said treatment is complicated by paperwork and health-care forms. It just hasn’t worked out, she explained.
“For single mothers like me who are sick,” White said, “we need health care insurance to keep our jobs and take care of our children.”