Speaker: Eve Marcum-Atkinson
Eve Marcum-Atkinson: Hi, this is Eve Markham Atkinson. I live in Huntington, West Virginia. And, uh, I struggle with chronic health issues and as a contract labor person, I worried that if my husband for any reason, um, should lose his job, we would not have health care. Um, I spend a good chunk of my, my, uh, contract income to cover my medical needs. But because I'm getting the care that I need, uh, I'm able to work full time and am earning a decent income. However, uh, last December I had some big health events happened and, uh, I'm lucky to be alive, but because of that I wasn't able to work and because of that, I didn't have as much money coming in because I didn't have as much money coming in. There was a whole lot less of out of pocket that I was able to cover. So we ended up having to use a little bit of the money that we had set aside to cover, uh, our copay on everything and I had to go without some of the other stuff that I normally just do out of pocket in order to make ends meet over time I was able to recover and because the job that I have uh, was very understanding and gave me plenty of room to recover. Um I was able to get back to work, get back to work full time and get back to, um, being able to afford the other out of pocket things that I needed in order to be healthy. Um, I, I worry, I worry that um, the university that my husband works at is going to downsize like they have done in the past, um that they're going to cut pay that they're going to um let people go and if that should happen, then we will be without insurance. Uh This past legislative session, uh They voted to, at the legislative, the legislature voted to uh increase hour out of pocket pay for insurance. And because of that, um we now have to pay an extra $150 a month uh of what we were already paying for me being on my husband's plan. And uh they did this saying that this, the purse was tight. Uh The, the, the recipients of this insurance should pay more of the, the cost. Meanwhile, they also passed during the same legislative session, a tax cut because we had a massive surplus. So out of one side of their mouth, they were saying we can't afford to pay for all of y'all's insurance and then they voted themselves pay raise and then they said we've got all this surplus. Yay surplus. Let's give everybody a tax cut. Uh, do you know how much money my husband and I are gonna get from that tax cut at like 100 and 50 bucks at the end of the year, maybe 200. That's how much we'll get. Uh, the people who are benefiting the most from that tax cut are those that, you know, the, the top 10% of the state in income. Uh, and the person that, that uh, that's benefiting the most would be our governor who is literally the wealthiest person in the state that has been pushing for a tax cut for several years now. And it's kind of ridiculous. So, uh, our health care and maintaining our health care was directly affected by greed on a state level, by our legislators and by our governor, we, it's eating and it's a year where everything costs more utilities cost more food costs so much more. And they're looking at jacking up our electric, uh even more because a EP wants West Virginians to pay for upgrades to antiquated coal companies, an antiquated coal powered fire and coal fired power plants. So. Hm. Yeah, health care, affording health care, being able to get the care we need in order to work. It's complicated business, even for those that have insurance.