Dear Friends and Family,
Please pray for me, as I am experiencing more pain and consequently more seizures. Many are unaware that my back, legs, muscles, and joints have been in constant pain for the last 10-15 years. I described it to a friend as being in the middle of your last workout rep and freezing it right there. My muscles are so tight and are getting tighter each day. Recently, I have reached my pain threshold and as a result went into seizures, which is a whole new level of complications, as you may know.
My doctor says it is very important that I start working and stretching out my muscles to relieve the tension. Right now, he feels that physical therapy is and will be a medical necessity for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I don’t have insurance. With a disability, the cost of insurance is astronomical. I do have Medicaid; however, they have strict policies that prevent me from getting physical therapy. I believe these strict policies are in place to narrow the opportunity for people to take advantage of the system. Those strict policies affect millions of people like myself who legitimately need this program.
A friend of mine and I were talking about this same issue. He said, “Someone like you deserves, and legitimately needs, medical assistance. But there are so many people who abuse the system. We have to stop that. That is the reason why our country is in so much debt.” First, lets be honest: the cost of providing Medicaid is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of national debt that we have. Also, unfortunately, the Medicaid system is not individualized. People who are administering the program do not have the time or resources to devote to gathering data on every person that applies for the program. Therefore, the strict policy affects everyone regardless of their individual medical needs.
I, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, will always have a need for a wheelchair, a personal assistant, and added medical expenses far more than the average person. If I were to look at my situation from a biblical perspective, I could come to the conclusion that it is the church’s responsibility to aid me in my medical needs. But, I can’t expect the church to pay my necessary $120,000 annual Medicaid expenses for the rest of my life. They have their own million-dollar budgets and debt. Not only that, as I criss-crossed the country from church-to-church over the past 12 ½ years, I know for a fact that churches are reaching out to every group other than the disabled. To make matters worse, Christians allow their political views to dictate their Christian responsibility and therefore jeopardize what little help people with disabilities are receiving.
I’m sorry if that seems a bit harsh, but that is the reality of the situation. Think about Joni Eareckson Tada, David Rings, and me, Christopher Coleman; I guarantee we all rely heavily on health care benefits to enable us to physically go out there and share Jesus and His sufficiency in the midst of a disability. There is no other way we can accomplish this financially without that support.
So many people have tried to sway me to their views on the Affordable Care Act. In other words, they want me to shoot myself in the foot. For them it is a simple decision not to pay a few extra dollars in taxes; for me, it is a choice of whether or not I am going to support a program that can help me fight the battle of living with Cerebral Palsy. Someone told me that most people don’t see the other side of the coin. We don’t think about the millions of other people that legitimately need healthcare. We only see the thousands that may be taking advantage of it, and therefore we react out of our ignorance. I hope that is the case. I hope it is ignorance and not greed and selfishness. If it is ignorance, we all know it is dangerous to drive a car with a blind spot. The result of being hit blindsided is catastrophic for all who are around.
This blog is not an attempt to sway your political views, a call for financial support, or a plea for pity about my situation. I am asking you to pray for me, your friend, as well as the millions of other people in my situation or worse that are not receiving the necessary medical assistance that we need. After sharing my story as your Christian brother, I would hope that would accept the challenges in the following questions:
- Should we not take the Bible literally when it comes to storing up treasures in heaven and not on earth?
- As Christians are we choosing to look over Matthew 25: 34-40 and move forward in our selfish agendas?
- Did not Jesus provide His blood to the whole world knowing that some would abuse it and take it for granted?