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Naomie Remy Dieudonne: "We deserve it, we need it, and together we will make it."

May 13, 2010


Security officers, we need to speak up for affordable Health Insurance.

In a country with a history of people dying every day with cancer, heart attacks, and all kinds of diseases, health insurance is crucial. But can we afford health insurance in America today? Health insurance is expensive and security officers are still underpaid.

Last month, for the first time in my life, I was very sick. Although I woke up with a migraine headache, I forced myself to go to work because I am a single parent working to take care of my boys. I could not think of staying home with my condition since I have one paycheck for my bills.

When I say bills, I would like you to know that, along with my four kids, I have to pay rent, car payment and insurance, and utilities. I closed my ears to not listing to the sounds of my heart. It was horrible. However, I went to work anyway because I did not have a choice. The next day, I was in excruciating pain. I couldn't take it anymore because my sickness became serious. My body was itchy and I felt feverish. I was shaking and vomiting.

I decided to go to one of the hospitals close to my house. There I took a number and sat down. When the nurse approached me, the first thing she asked me "Madame with kind of insurance do you have?" "If I don't have health insurance, what will happen to me?" I asked her hazily. "I would have to ask you to go down stairs and apply for free care and come back," she said. I took my time and looked at her and replied, "But I am very sick." "Madam," she said, "it is not my policy." She turned to face someone else who had health Insurance.

What could I do? I gingerly walked down the stairs to the lobby and asked the lady in charge for a form to apply for free care. It took me more than two hours waiting for the lady to call me. After applying, I thought that finally I would be able to see a doctor. I smiled. "Oh Lord has mercy for us poor workers," I said to myself in lamentation. The lady in charge requested four paychecks. I did not have my paychecks on me. Thus, I did not see a doctor that day.

I went home with tears in my eyes. This is where we are today in America. If you have money and you can pay for health insurance, you probably receive a" welcome from the hospital." If you cannot purchase health insurance, it is better to save money to buy a coffin since eventually you could die of lack of care in any hospital in Boston.

The challenges we face as workers is to pressure the companies which are making profits from us for affordable health insurance. One thing is sure: with the help of the union, we will get what we want. My advice for workers is to be consistent and stand up for your rights. You deserve health insurance because one day, you could be sick too.

Stand up, speak up to let the bosses know that we are human beings and that we ought to have good benefits. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to see a doctor when we go to the hospital?

We are not dogs, but human beings. We need to speak up together and from there our voices will be heard. Let's make noise about health insurance for our family. We deserve it. We need it and it is an imperative to fight for it. Together we will make it.