LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Choose carefully, wisely

“Are there no (debtor) prisons? Let them die and decrease the surplus population.”

Ebenezer Scrooge in Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” is famous for these words, but have you thought about them seriously? When the spirit teaches Scrooge who the “surplus” population is, Scrooge realizes that it’s people like him who have the power to decide who lives and who dies. Scrooge learns what many of us need to learn: we do not care about a problem until it happens to us or to someone about whom we care.

I learned this with my second cancer diagnosis. It involved a rare and aggressive cancer. My first thought was to wonder if I would be here for Christmas or if I would be in heaven. The survival rate for this cancer is1 percent, according to “Dr. Google.”

Fortunately, I found a topflight specialist, and I was covered by expanded Medicaid. In one week, with a CAT scan, DaVinci surgery and requisite tests and care, I ran up more than $90,000 in medical bills. This would be followed by more blood tests, chemotherapy and internal radiation. I also needed palliative care because I was so incapacitated by treatment that I needed to relearn how to walk and how to care for myself.

I did not have the financial resources to cover this; I drive a 19-year-old car and have a mortgage on a house that I bought for $39,000. However, everything I needed to fight my cancer was financed 100 percent by expanded Medicaid.

I am one of the faces of Scrooge’s “surplus” population. I am one of those who without the Affordable Health Care Act, would be the one who dies because she cannot pay.

So, when you vote to dismantle the ACA, please, have the guts to look me in the eye and tell me to my face that you would have chosen for me, Wendy Elsey, to die.

Wendy Elsey

Dowagiac

Cassopolis

Community members speak out against ‘culture of bullying’ at Cassopolis Public Schools

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve sidewalk leveling, cleaning contract

Dowagiac

Community rebuilds Little Free Library dedicated to late sister following vandalism incidents

News

Niles bicycle shop to host Pride Ride

Buchanan

Berrien Springs woman dies when vehicle collides with semi in Buchanan

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Commissioners to resume in-person meetings July 1

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,002 cases, 19,598 deaths

Cass County

Dowagiac man, daughter injured in Newberg Township crash

Berrien County

Michigan 4-H eliminates participation fee

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces new Jobs NOW hotline

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer announces state will open to full capacity on June 22

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Fire Department to host corn and sausage roast fundraiser

Cass County

Cass County Tractor Pullers to host fundraiser for cancer patients

Berrien County

Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health take first step toward creating new health system

Cassopolis

Local law enforcement hosts Bike with a Cop event in Cassopolis

Cass County

As residents begin summer construction projects, county urges them to take preventative steps against erosion

News

Local EAA chapter to host 34th pancake breakfast fly-in

News

Monday night music coming to The NODE

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 892,830 cases, 19,578 deaths

Dowagiac

Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon tying ceremony for Diva’s Fashion and More

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: June 11-16

Edwardsburg

May, M-62 intersection to get new design

News

Niles history mural coming to downtown parking lot

Dowagiac

Lyons Reading Fund donates more than 400 books to Dowagiac Middle School students