Nancy Dickerson, Cortland

My name is Nancy Dickerson and I live in Cortland. I am 59 years old and I am a licensed clinical social worker. I have seen how the cost of healthcare and insurance prevents people from getting the mental health care they need. I have clients who cancel appointments because they don't have enough money to pay out of pocket if they have a high deductible or copay, or who drop out of treatment or don't take their medications due to not being able to afford either. I have also seen many patients who are refused access to certain counselors if they don't accept their insurance. As a counselor myself, there are certain insurances that are difficult to become providers for, and there are so many that it is difficult to deal with them all.

I have also experienced these issues as a patient myself. Though I am a social worker, I keep other jobs so I can get insurance. I struggle to afford dental care. I also find the healthcare system to be impossible to afford. I went in to urgent care for a tick bite on a weekend which I knew to show symptoms of Lyme Disease. My doctor isn't available from Friday to Sunday. The bill came back at nearly $700 for a 10 minute visit for antibiotics.

We must remove high deductibles for people with lower income. Quite simply, there should not be profit in our healthcare system. As long as insurance companies are allowed to make a profit, their incentives and priorities are in the wrong place. We need healthcare for all.