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    Posted November 30, 2013 by
    pjcontreras
    Location
    Arizona
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Obamacare: Your story

    More from pjcontreras

    Feeling Trapped in HealthCare Mess...Doomed to stay on State Assistance

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     pjcontreras and her husband Patrick are fighting for the survival of their son Nathan who was diagnosed with Cystic Firbrosis at 10-weeks-old. The now eight year-old is still battling the disease, but his mother worries that their financial difficulties will affect their ability to pay for his medical bills. In addition to his ailment, she has fibromyalgia, sero-negative rheumatorid arthritis, and sluder syndrome. With the combination of both of their illnesses, money has been scarce for them to make even the simplest home repairs. "We are doing better than some, but do without a lot, and in fact we've been in the process of trying to get some bathroom repairs made because we've had issues w/ mold," said Coutreras, "but we do not have the money to get everything needed even if my husband was going to try to do it with a do-it-yourself project." Health care is a big issue for the Coutreras family, but she is afraid that with Obamacare they may not be able to afford their cost of living and ultimately lose everything. "Our credit is shot," she said, "I just wish Aston Kutcher would be involved in someway and say 'Ha Ha, you've been punked!'"

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    We have a 8 &1/2 yr old son Nathan, who was diagnsoed w/ Cystic Fibrosis at 10 wks old through a rare rash. Since that inital diagnosis he's had a host of surgeries, hospitalizations,proceedures, tests & additional diagnosis.
    He has a G-tube, went through years of feeding therapy from a occupational therapist & even by the age of 4 went to Our Children's House at Baylor, in Dallas, TX to help him swallow more consistantly and with more confidence. He started to do better initally but started a chain event again of several more years of throwing up again. It wasn't until just after his Make A Wish trip towards the end of 2011 that he finally started eating daily and more than one or two times a day. So he was a month away from turning 7 by the time that happened. He also has eosinaphilic esphagitis, and gastroparesis,siusitus & has already had 2 sinus surgeries. He's a wonderful child and a miracle that we love so deeply. We'd always had Blue Cross ins of AZ, until my husband was laid off at the end of Jan 2011. He'd had the same job for 8 yrs as a bench jeweler. Our co-pay w/ BCBS was high, and a CNN story even ran on him in Jan 2010 due to having troubles w/ his Co-pay's for his medications being so high. Most of his meds are several hundreds per months but he has 2 or 2 things that goes into the thousands monthly. So you'd run a story and someone helped us the next day which was such a blessing. But FWD to when my husband was laid off, we suddenly were loosing our insruance. So I applied for AHCCCS immediately & thankfully we were aproved shortly there after, and the manager put us in for food stamps as well. We'd never had them before & we used to never be able to get help because on paper things looked good. In relaity we were bowrrowing from Perter to pat Paul type thing, deeply in debt, constnatly in risk of loosing our house. If it hadn't been for the grace of God and amazing support from family, friends and people in our community of Tucson, AZ and all over we would have been in much worse shape years ago.
    The trouble is, during these past 3 yrs, my husband tried over and over to get a job anywhere close to the pay he'd been at before & it just wasn't happening. He could only work part time or we could loose our health benefits. We didn't have any savings anymore, because that was all gone through in the first year our son was sick almost 9 yrs ago. So we didn't have big piles of money stored up, to set aside for a big deductible/co pay for specialist that he has to go to constnatly. He's not the only one w/ health issues either, so we'd have to have them for me as well. Last Nov we finally thank God got Nathan qualified for disability, but it was years and years of trying. Before we were always over income though he medically qualified. So my husband lost his job & SSI says suddenly that now we financially qualify, but now suddenly medically our son doesn't qualify and they denied him. It was insane. It's not like his CF was suddenly going to go away...they didn't care. It's a game to them. So I applied once again and finally thank God we got it for him last year. But now we have to be even that much more careful on every single dime we get or the reduce your payements. So all during all these years, we still had insane problems with our mortgage payements. Tried the Obama-save your house programs. Nope. Didn't work for us. We went through housing programs, mortgage counselors, nope. I finally litteraly went begging once again to our own mortgage company to their home retention program that thankfully got the ball rolling (after working on this for a yr & 1/2 with every other program known to man) so now Thank God~ our house payment's down to 630 /mo from 1365/mo. So we're glad for that beyond words...but then if my husband works just a few extra hours (as a security gaurd for 12/hr.) we have our benefits reduced a ton. As it is, they already have a restriction on how much you can make to be on assistance. You have to stay under 1527/for a family of 3. (remember it's GROSS income) so the thought of trying to save up when we live pay check to pay check as it is. Thankfully my husband just now barely a month ago got back into jewelry job so that is a blessing, but it's p/t so pay is very low. We were stressed as it is, before the Obama Healthcare mess happened. Now finding out how terrible all the peopel's co-pays/deductibles are we are litteraly terrified at what will happen to us if Pat ever wants to try to take a full time job again. The President talks well, he's good at speeches, but I thik where the rubber meets the road he doesn't give a rats ass about just a little family over here in Tucson, AZ that he's never going to meet or know. We didn't vote for him so I am sure he doesn't like us anyways. That is how it feels.
    It makes us feel like we are walking around w/ our hands out like some Oliver play "Please Sir, May I have some more...." All I'm missing is the accent.

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