Man Needing Insulin Writes Letter to Governor; FOX 17 Helps Get Him What He Needs
MUSKEGON, Mich. (April 25, 2014) — Scott Pastor of Muskegon said he wrote to Governor Rick Snyder three days ago, regarding a plea for changes to healthcare and the economy in Michigan.
According to the Michigan Household Survey on Health Insurance, nearly 8% of residents aren’t covered. That’s roughly 800,000 people.
“I need insulin, and it’s very expensive without any sort of insurance,” Pastor said.
“I know that without insulin, I’m gonna die,” he wrote about in the letter to the governor.
He’s diabetic, and the 28-year-old explained that he lost his job in November 2013. He believes he was fired for pressuring management to raise wages.
“When I got fired, I had to withdraw from my 401k, so that kind of helped. But eventually it dwindled out,” Pastor explained.
In December, he said he applied for medicaid, but the single man who has no one to care of but himself, was denied. Pastor was ineligible, and the program was closed.
He said he’s had to choose between paying rent and buying insulin. He said, with medicine costing $1300 a month, he chose rent.
“I’m almost pretty sure that I made the bad choice,” Pastor said.
As a result, on Wednesday, he said his system began to shut down.
“I had shortness of breath and every time I breathe, it was like someone was punching me in my gut,” he recalled.
He added, “I didn’t really want to, but I finally had to call the ambulance.”
Now he’s in the intensive care unit at Muskegon’s Hackley Hospital. He said he was admitted Thursday morning. As nurses keep track of his vitals, Pastor knows he’ll be back out in the real world pretty soon.
“There’s millions other people like me,” he said.
FOX 17 spoke with staff at the hospital. We were able to get him hooked up with the Health Project.
“We have a very robust pharmaceutical access program that helps people get their medications or support them with co-pay assistance, to make sure that they’re not, that they don’t stop taking it when they’re in crisis,” Stevi Riel, Health Project operations manager said.
“He’s gonna leave with medication. He’s not gonna have a day without medication again. So we’re very glad that he was able to be connected with us,” Riel explained.
Pastor said, “It’s an ease off my mind. I feel like I’m a mooch in a sense, but I feel like it has to be done, and I just hope it’s temporary.”
Now he’s just waiting to hear back from the governor.
“What I wanted was for him to say, ‘You know what? You’re kind of right. That we should make these changes,’” Pastor said.