I graduated college in 1990. The ADA had just been passed. There was no funding for home care. There was no accessible public transportation. I lived with my dad who took care of me and worked from home as a telemarketer, which I hated. I volunteered on a committee that wrote a Medicaid waiver to keep people like me out of nursing homes and fund home care. Pennsylvania was the second state in the nation to get a waiver. That was 25 years ago.
In 1997, I became self-employed after a struggle finding a job. Most small companies couldn't hire me because my pre-existing condition would raise their insurance rates. Although, other than home care, the last time I was hospitalized was 1996, 20 years ago. I'm healthier than most of you reading this. Today I make a good income. Today I own a business that supports four families. Today I can count five different millionaires who employ over 500 people that rely on me for marketing advice every single month. Yes, I still rely on Medicaid waiver services to the tune of $72,000 per year, but my work generates millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Yesterday, my rep in Congress and my President passed a healthcare package that defunded waivers and provides health insurance at the cost of more than 50% of my relatively good salary because I was born with a genetic disability. The President lied. He stated point-blank that we would not lose coverage, yet the bill says something completely different.
By July of next year my life could be thrown back to 1990. It could be thrown back to a time when another Republican president, George HW Bush, passed the ADA with unanimous bipartisan approval. Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I'm scared. What makes me the most angry is the reason my life is at risk. In 1974 Donald Trump Sr. was sued and stripped of his company. In the settlement, he was not allowed to own rental properties in New York City because he was refusing to rent to black people. Rather than sell his properties, he stepped down as CEO and gave his company to Donald Trump Jr., A 26-year-old MBA that barely passed business school at Wharton, a school that formally asked the president not to use their name while campaigning. Donald Trump Jr, a lifelong Democrat, switched parties after a black man was elected to a second term. This deep-seated racism, and the belief that he could manipulate the poor and uneducated through rhetoric, caused him to run as a Republican with the specific goal to undo everything our black president accomplished. Racism is going to threaten my life, a white middle-class Republican voter. I'm a bit angry.