Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zenobia in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Zenobia in Braddock, Pennsylvania
Originally uploaded by walk4healthcare

Zenobia has to see a doctor regularly for her prescriptions. “It’s really hard, because I have no insurance,” she said. “And I work hard. But since I’m part-time, Medicaid says I’m not eligible.” But since she’s working only 25 hours a week, she doesn’t apparently qualify for insurance through her employer either. “According to Medicaid, you’re working,” she said. But according to her employer, “You’re not working.” The cracks in the system she was facing, seemed, from her expression, to be more like gaping chasms, with no way out.

When she heard public assistance was no longer available for her, she called them, crying, “Why have I been dropped?” To which they answered, “You make more than $200 a month.” So she makes do with a hodge-podge of different programs and deals. She’s able to keep her medication bill down to $60 a month because the pharmacy has a special plan but her various other medical bills have accumulated to close to $6,000. “It’s all a mess, all so complicated,” she told me. “And if I really get hurt, I'm pretty much screwed.”

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