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Letters to President Obama

From

Cait Irwin, Council Bluffs, Iowa

April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

 

Dear Mr. President,

As I walked away from my first visit with my doctor since I qualified for Iowa Medicaid, I felt the biggest sense of relief. That was the first time I have had insurance in over ten years. After I got home I NEEDED to sit down and write you this letter to express my gratitude.

My name is Cait Irwin. I am a self employed artist, published author, entrepreneur, environmentalist, mental health advocate, and I have just started my own small business. My health plays a crucial role in my ability to be a successful and productive young American woman.

My down to earth personality is attributed to having parents who were public school educators. My mother, a full time special education teacher, often worked a second job to make ends meet. Even in tough times, I was always encouraged to use my unique and natural born talents to make my way in the world.

In my early twenties I was dropped my mother’s insurance plan. At that time there was no way I could afford my own insurance. Having suffered from depression in my teen years, I was flagged as uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition. As a free-lance artist I had to work full time jobs to make a living. None of these places of employment offered insurance that was affordable or comprehensive. The few times that I needed to seek medical help, I went into major debt and had to opt for payment plans. Some of these bills took years to pay off. Even receiving basic preventative care seemed like a far off dream.

Now at age thirty-four I am in the time of my life where I have decided to seriously pursue my goals as a professional artist. Since my work is physically demanding ( painting large scale murals), I need to be in tip top health. The idea of taking care of myself so I CAN live out my dreams jumped to the front of my mind. There is too much work to be done in my lifetime to take my health lightly, so I quit smoking, began exercising regularly, improved my diet, and also began daily meditation to help with anxiety. Still, there are medical issues I hadn’t addressed due to the fear of not being able to afford treatment.

My fears subsided when I qualified for health care coverage under the Iowa Medicaid Expansion Act. For the first time in a long time I had a sense of hope. It occurred to me that I am a great example of how the Affordable Care Act benefits ordinary citizens like me.

I am in the initial stages of building my LLC [...]. I am a driven, independent and professional woman who has never expected any “handouts.” Everything accomplished so far has been built with my own two hands. Still, the reality is good health is essential to success. I am grateful for Medicaid assistance during this fledgling stage of my career.

I have many goals for my company. One of them is executing large scale mural projects for community beautification purposes. These future projects will require many employees and will have positive effects on the people involved. My vision is to build a successful organization that takes care of their employees while inspiring change and awareness through art. When [my organization] is financially stable, I will be more than happy to pay back into the system to provide the same peace of mind, support, and the feeling of hope for others Americans.

I would describe myself as ambitious young single American woman with a college degree (students loans to pay). Throughout my adult life I’ve always been employed, paid my taxes, and have never been in trouble of any kind. I’m a small business owner with my feet planted firmly on the ground. I am an American with many hopes and dreams and I know I will face many challenges ahead. But, now I have peace of mind and less anxiety about maintaining good health.

In closing, thank you Mr. President. Thank you for your hard work and perseverance in the midst of such opposition. Thank you for advocating for all citizens of this great country. Your campaign was based on the idea of hope and you have kept that promise. I was proud to support you in both elections.

 

With gratitude and great respect,

Cait Irwin