2/20/03

 

Vincent J Cataldi

2516 E. Menlo Blvd.

Shorewood, WI  53211

 

 

Friends of Vince:

 

I have encountered a great problem that is beyond my ability to solve alone.  Many people in this country are struggling with the same problem and it is time we come together to do something about it.  Please join me in the fight to change the way health care is provided to Americans. 

 

As you know, health care reform has been on the government’s agenda for many years.  Attempts to assure affordable health insurance for all Americans have failed.  Progress toward accessible medical care, both routine and emergency, has been slow.  Thousands of people in this country have gone without the medical attention they need, or with sub-standard care, while our government representatives are stymied in their effort to implement meaningful changes to the health care system.  How many people have suffered a serious decline in their health as a result?  How many life spans have been cut short?

 

My greatest joy in life has been helping others.  Because you trusted me and shared parts of your life with me, I count you among my friends.  Years may sometimes go by without my seeing or hearing from some of you, but I don't forget your dreams, problems or opportunities.  I have never been good at asking for help but I am asking for your help now.

 

Today I find myself uncomfortably wobbly, unsure what to do, and scared for my future.  Recently I learned that I have an 'ugly, ugly, ugly' situation in the cervical section of my neck, requiring surgery.  Five of the vertebrae are very seriously deteriorated, and have abnormal growths of an unknown nature.  As I work diligently to get the medical attention I need, I am angry for the delays I am experiencing because of my inability to pay, and fearful of the damage that progresses while I wait for help.

 

Since June, when it became clear that something was seriously wrong with me, I have tried everything to find a way to pay for the medical attention I need.  I tried to buy insurance for ten years, while I was still healthy, but could not afford it. Once I had a problem it was not available at any price. I tried to get GAMP (General Assistance Medical Program) support, but was denied because in 2001 my income averaged $200 a month in excess of the poverty limit.  I am self-employed so I was forced to become more broke, and wait until the end of the year when I could file my tax return and prove I was broke.  I now qualify as indigent, and I suspect I am eligible for GAMP, though it will still be weeks before I am reviewed.  Even so, my options are limited and treatment is slow in coming.  How can this happen in the richest, most powerful country in the world?

 

Friends, please pray for me, as I believe that love will help me now, when I need it the most.  And please spread the word about the deplorable state of America’s health care system.  It is my hope that this horrible situation I find myself in can be a catalyst for helping the many other victims of the health care crisis in our country.  You can help by signing petition to make my medical insurance coverage a right for everyone in America, or send a note to me, or to your governor demanding immediate action be taken toward health care reform.

 

Mostly Fearless,

 

 

Vincent J Cataldi