Elizabeth, Greene County

Elizabeth is a 47 year-old single mother with two teenage sons. On May 9th, 2017, Elizabeth went to the emergency room because she was having stomach pains. After receiving a CAT scan, doctors found a tumor in her colon, and diagnosed Elizabeth with colon cancer. Later tests showed that the cancer had spread to her lungs. Elizabeth had experienced numerous symptoms prior to her diagnosis, but was unable to visit her doctor, because she could not afford health insurance. Elizabeth falls in the Medicaid Gap, making too much money for Medicaid but not enough to pay for a Marketplace plan. If Medicaid was expanded, Elizabeth would have had access to the affordable care that she needed. Elizabeth’s doctor believes that when she was first diagnosed, she had already had the tumor for 6 months to 1 year. Elizabeth’s current prognosis gives her about 2-3 years to live. Visiting her doctor sooner would have caught the cancer earlier and given her more time. Now, Elizabeth is extremely worried about the future and her two children. Having access to affordable health care would have allowed Elizabeth to catch her cancer much sooner, and would provide her with the vital medications she now needs. Elizabeth says,

“Without a doubt, my cancer would have been caught sooner if I had been able to see my doctor earlier. But I couldn’t go, because I couldn’t afford it. Just because you can’t afford the cost doesn’t mean you shouldn’t receive the care.”