I’m back! I had to take a little hiatus last month because life has been so crazy for me lately. In May, I graduated from the University of Wyoming with my Bachelor’s degree, moved back across the state, and bought a house- whew! I’m happy to be back for June though, because I’ve got an important issue to address: surprise medical billing, exorbitant healthcare costs, and the potential loss of insurance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Your voice needs to be heard on these matters, and it’s easy to contact your legislators! You can tweet, email, or call them; and here’s the thing: while reaching out to lawmakers can seem intimidating at first, they work for us! It’s literally their job to listen to constituents- on a local, state, or national level.
So if you’re someone who lost their job, and thus their health insurance due to the pandemic, you’re not alone. I’m sorry you’re facing this, and you deserve access to proper care. It’s time to advocate for healthcare reform in Wyoming, and during unprecedented circumstances like this, that probably has to include expansion of Medicaid so more individuals are covered! There’s simply no way around that; and healthcare doesn’t have to be polarized or political.
Even if this next issue hasn’t affected you personally, I’m confident that you know someone that it has. I’ve been there. Patients around the U.S., often in emergency situations are being forced to go to out-of-network hospitals for necessary treatment, and as a result, are facing financially crippling surprise medical bills. Or, they receive a surprise medical bill for procedures at in-network facilities that they thought would be covered by insurance (if they have it). It happens all the time and now more than ever, in-the-midst of a global pandemic, the affects can be devastating. Luckily, Congress is still working to pass multiple economic relief packages, and now is the time to contact your legislators and tell them where you stand. Tell them that nearly 60% of Americans have faced a surprise medical bill in their lifetime- and this needs to stop!
The American Heart Association can help you reach out and connect you with your lawmakers- they provide pre-filled tweets, emails, and messages that you can personalize before sending. It’s quick, efficient, and makes change happen! Click here to speak up and protect patients in Wyoming and around the country from extenuated financial hardship. We need your action and your voice to be part of the conversation on creating the “new normal”- and we hope that will be a better nation with access to affordable and reliable healthcare for every individual.
Okay friends- on a lighter note and as a little bonus to this month’s blog, I want to share one of my favorite summer recipes! A friend passed this on to me a few weeks ago, and it’s super easy and refreshing for these hot summer nights. Seriously- healthy has never looked so good!
Grilled Asparagus & Mozzarella Salad
- 4 oz. mozzarella cheese (I bought them pre-formed into pearls!)
- ¾ cup grape tomatoes
- Asparagus spears
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 4 tbsp. basil
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (can substitute with a vinaigrette- that’s all I had at my house!)
- Nonstick cooking spray
Prep/Cook Time: Approx. 30 minutes
- Prep asparagus by chopping into thirds, or removing ends. Place into a grill pan lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray, or wrap in tinfoil. Cook until tender- about 20 minutes!
- While the asparagus is cooking, chop 4 oz. of mozzarella into cubes (if it isn’t already in pearl form) and place into a large mixing bowl. Chop basil leaves (approx.. 4 tbsp.) into pieces as tiny as you can, and halve the grape tomatoes (approx.. ¾ cup) before adding both to the bowl.
- Combine ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. black pepper, and 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar to bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
- Add the resulting mixture to cooled asparagus in serving dish. Optional: drizzle entire dish with additional vinaigrette.
- Dig in!
Hope you enjoy- and remember to contact your legislators! Advocacy starts on a local and state level, and every voice helps to make an impact.
Forever your Miss Wyoming 2017 and AHA Advocate,