Whitesburg KY
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Financial and medical aid system extremely flawed




To the Editor:

I believe that the system for providing financial and medical aid to low/no income individuals is extremely flawed. I am 25 years old, and was recently diagnosed with Stage IV kidney failure (only 12 percent function remaining), caused by FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis). Every day of my life is an effort and an uncertainty. I have literally lost the drive in my life. I was a very active person pursuing a career and trying to start my own business, however those plans are all on hold. Each and every day I am filled with the fear that I will be placed on dialysis before I get my transplant, or that my potassium levels will rise to dangerous levels, put my heart out of rhythm and I will die. This is a large burden to live with at the age of 25.

I filed for aid under the Social Security SSI System. My physicians tell me that it is a crystal clear case of someone in dire need of help. They also make the urgency very clear that I get a transplant before beginning dialysis. However, I have been denied. I see individuals on a daily basis that are abusing this system to prevent them from having to work. They use it as a scapegoat rather than an aid to help lift you up to a better level. I have the desire to get better, live healthy, and to work to make a living for myself, without sponging from the government. All I need is the medical coverage to help get a kidney transplant in order to survive, and a little financial help to pay my bills while I am down. I need help.

In eastern Kentucky we are often forgotten. Folks in other areas of the state only come to our rescue here in the mountains when there is a slurry spill from a coal company, or if a coal company is blowing a mountaintop off to mine coal. We need to look at the real issues that affect our people. The lopsidedness of the SSI system is corrupt and flawed. I am sure that I am not the only individual to see this problem, nor will I be the last. The legislature needs to address this situation and make sound changes to help the less fortunate in all of Kentucky.

If changes were made to the system, there would be fewer people like myself whose life hangs in the balance while a committee of unqualified individuals (not even medical professionals) tries to decide whether I live or die.

LESTER COLLINS Isom


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