Christina Jackson, along with her mother, Paula, and sister, Andrea, met me at an event called “The Art of the Scar” that was hosted by the Missouri Kidney Program in September.
Christina was diagnosed with lupus after high school, and then following issues with insurance coverage, she experienced kidney failure, numerous seizures, a stroke and a kidney transplant in her twenties
The family spoke about some of the ways they would like to see the healthcare industry change.
Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.
Paula Jackson: The health system - and girls jump in to help me if I struggle trying to say what I mean - they need to be better, for the people, not the money -- about human being' pain.
That's my greatest hope for the health system. Don't let the poor, those with lower income suffer because of money. Die because of a lack of money.
I feel very strongly about that.
Christina Jackson: Yeah, I agree because there's so many people out here who are struggling, who supposedly "make too much" money - quote unquote, and they can't get healthcare.
I mean, I have family now who are struggling because they supposedly make too much money and they're diabetics, and they're not taking their medicine, and they can't find help.
And it's all about the money. Insurance companies are like so greedy. It's about greed. Like, if they hadn't stopping paying for my medicine, I most likely wouldn't have been through everything I went through, but I will say, it did lead me to God and that's the best thing that came out of it.
Paula: I just want to say we have a family member - She had retired on disability and then after she retired on disability, she found out she was a diabetic.
Well, her insurance was so much after she retired that she has no insurance. She couldn't pay for it. She couldn't pay out of pocket for it. She went to seek help at agencies to get money for her being a diabetic, and they tell her "her income is too high to get her the help she needs."
So, she's sitting there being a diabetic all alone and cannot get help, cannot get the money for medicines, and, you know, you cannot play around with being a diabetic. It will take you out.
And so, this is what I'm saying, she's been putting money in the system all these years, but when she needs help, "I'm sorry. You make too much money. Your income is too great for this program that can help you.
It all boils down to helping people when you cannot help yourself, and there's so much out here that's available, but only to some people who can afford it.
The one's who cannot afford it, they’re in a crack. A deep, dark crack. We can do better. We can do better...
Andrea Jackson: ... America!