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Gina Owens

By October 8, 2009No Comments

Gina Owens

Dear President Obama,

Our broken health care system killed my daughter.

To me, being a citizen means being an active member in your community, standing up for your rights, and helping others through hardships that prevent them from either being a citizen, or from fully realizing their rights. As a person with a disability, I rely on public programs – and despite some of the difficulty I’ve had with some of them, I count on them to be there.

My daughter, Tiffany, unfortunately did not have that support. When she first got sick when she was 27, she had insurance though her job, but when she got too sick to work, she lost her job, and then she lost her health insurance. That meant she couldn’t afford to go to the doctor regularly, or get the medications she needed. When her organs began to fail, doctors said that it was because she hadn’t gotten the right treatment.

My daughter died in 2007, as a result of pulmonary hypertension, which could likely have been prevented with regular check-ups. Tiffany left behind three young children, who will grow up with the support of their family, but without their mother. This is why public programs are so important. She didn’t have an affordable back-up once she lost her job, and I’m sure there are thousand, millions of people out there in Tiffany’s situation.

We need strong, affordable public programs that everyone can rely on when we need it most. What is the Administration going to do to strengthen public programs that people rely on, and make sure that children don’t lose their parents, no one suffers or dies, just because of a broken health care system?

Gina Owens
Seattle, Washington

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
and National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.