Dear President Obama,
My name is Alexander Tsao and I am a 2nd generation Asian American college student in Missouri, where I have lived for the past 12 years.
My parents are small business owners in Sedalia, Missouri, who have had trouble navigating the public health care programs as first generation immigrants. When I turned 19, I was no longer eligible for insurance under my parents. Since then, I have actively sought health insurance coverage, but significant obstacles leave me uninsured today.
At college, the insurance plan requires up-front payment and I did not have enough money to afford that coverage. I tried to work, but being a full-time student leaves little time for a job that might offer health insurance. The university provides one check-up per semester, but that doesn’t cover any needed follow-up treatments.
Without insurance, I am pressured to take extra care in all of my activities. Often, I need to do self-diagnoses and just hope for the best. I know I am among millions that have the same worries as I do, and I think this is wrong – I think everyone should have the peace of mind that they can afford to be healthy. President Obama, I urge you to remember that health care is a basic right, and that everyone should have access.
The Choice Before Us: Letters to President Obama is also available in PDF format. Edited and compiled by the Center for Community Change, Northwest Federation of Community
Organizations and National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.