My name is Esther Griffith; I live in Miami. As a home care worker, I have dedicated my life to caring for others. However, it wasn’t until I got coverage on my state’s exchange under the Affordable Care Act that I—along with half a million other direct care workers—could afford to take care of my own health.
When visiting my family in Guyana, I was hit by a car. My leg was broken in two places and required surgery; I was in the hospital for two weeks. When I got back to Florida, I tried to get added to my husband’s insurance plan so I could get the necessary physical therapy. Sadly, the insurance company wouldn’t cover me because the accident didn’t happen in Florida. I only make $10 an hour, so I couldn’t afford this expensive care out of pocket.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I was finally able to get insurance coverage and afford the physical therapy I needed. The only way I was able to get back on my feet and get back to work was through this healthcare coverage.
Now, extremists in Congress want to take this coverage away—and it will hurt more than just me. Home care consumers, mostly seniors and people with disabilities, rely on Medicaid for essential in-home care. This healthcare repeal plan would benefit the wealthy at the expense of working people, gutting programs that currently ensure people like my consumers and me are covered.
Snatching people’s healthcare away by repealing the Affordable Care Act is unconscionable and immoral. Working families won’t stand for it because for many of us, this is a matter of survival.
Esther Griffith is a home care worker from Miami and a Fight For $15 activist.