Sheri Aquilino speaks out

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The following email arrived at our office yesterday from one of our Board members at the CT Health Policy Project. Sheri Aquilino and her two children used to be on HUSKY; she now has coverage for her family through her job. She feels strongly that people need to understand what the Governor’s proposals for HUSKY premiums and copays would mean to working families like hers.

Hi Ellen:
This article [Critics: Health Care Changes Would Burden State’s Poor, Arielle Levin Becker, Harford Courant 2/17/09; describing Governor’s proposed HUSKY cuts and impact on CT families] really upset me. And I can only speak on behalf of the single Moms (as I was once where Maria was), but do the legislature and Governor realize that they are making these Moms choose between putting food on their table/heating their homes/keeping the electricity on or going to the doctor because they or their children are sick? And, like the woman in the article, most single Moms who are working are struggling everyday to keep their heads above water. There are no extras in their households; just the basics. Hey, my kids had no idea what cable TV was when they were young, and most of their clothes were hand-me-downs from friends and family, from a consignment store or Goodwill.
And, still being a single Mom who now has health insurance through her employer (and I make a little over $36,000 per year), I had a difficult time paying my own co-pays and the kids co-pays this summer. I was seeing a specialist late summer/early fall and it was $45 every time I walked in the door (once a week for 3 months); $45 co-pay for MRIs; etc. And that didn’t include my son’s $25 – $45 co-pays every two weeks; and my daughter too. Plus, the co-pays for medications anywhere from $25 to $75 a prescription. I had to cut back on groceries, hair cuts, clothes, NO EXTRAS AT ALL. I had to make hard choices and basically the mortgage came first, food second, etc., etc.
One final note before I shut up, but most single Moms live week-to-week and are two paychecks away from being homeless!!!!
Sheri Aquilino