Timothy, Ontario County

My name is Timothy. I am 59 years old and live in Ontario County. I currently have Medicare but went without health insurance in the past. Once I became disabled, I had to wait two years before I got Social Security Disability and Medicare, and I depleted all my funds including my 401k while waiting, I had no health insurance for 2 years and had problems getting the health care that I needed when I was unemployed. I had to forgo regular check-ups, prescription drugs, dental care and diagnostic tests due to the costs. It has been difficult for me to afford the cost of premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket bills. When I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I had problems paying my medical bills and lost my house as a result.

Since then, I have saved enough to buy a used trailer to live in, but I am still struggling due to the increase in this year’s Medicare premiums. We need single-payer health care in New York so that no one else has to suffer simply because they got sick or had the misfortune of losing a job. Health care is a human right and it is our government’s responsibility to protect this right of ours.