Just Don't Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform

By Karen Seccombe; Kim A. Hoffman | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Worry, Planning, and Coping

When the stories we have gathered from respondents find their readers, they are simply words on the page, unable to convey the rich context and sometimes difficult surroundings in which those words were collected. Kelly is an example of a woman who is difficult to fully describe with the printed word; her sheer will to survive and overcome hardship was transforming. Kelly also provides an important perspective on how families plan for and cope with loss of their health insurance after leaving welfare for work.

We arrived at Kelly's home for her first interview and she shyly invited us into her slightly dilapidated but still stately Craftsman bungalow. Entering the house from the bright midday sun was a bit disconcerting; it was extremely dark inside and there was a mildly uncomfortable lag before our eyes could adjust to the thickly curtained rooms. There appeared to be years of accumulated [stuff,] stored floor to ceiling in a skillful, yet haphazard manner. Kelly explained that the house was shared by several people, and she led us through the first floor and finally to a small entrance to the attic where she and her son lived.

The attic offered more light, and for the first time we were actually able to clearly see Kelly, a thirty-eight-year-old white woman. She had striking features, with rich brown eyes and hair. Her quiet persona and petite frame seemed to belie a sea of experience and emotion. Kelly's room was full of quirky, colorful, interesting things, each nook and cranny more interesting than the last.

It did not take long to learn of the complexities and struggles in this young and articulate woman's life. Quietly providing the details, she shared

-136-

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Just Don't Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1: Introduction Access to Health Care and Welfare Reform 1
  • Chapter 2: Health Status and Health Changes 28
  • Chapter 3: Insurance Coverage 63
  • Chapter 4: Other Access and Barriers to Health Care 90
  • Chapter 5: Do Families Get the Health Care They Need? 114
  • Chapter 6: Worry, Planning, and Coping 136
  • Chapter 7: Facing Reality 163
  • Appendix 185
  • Bibliography 191
  • Index 205
  • About the Author 213
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