4 min read

An Open Letter to Idaho Representatives

Raúl Labrador, Mike Crapo, and James E Risch.

 

Shortly after my husband, Sergeant Greg Moore, was killed in 2015, our daughter and I lost his amazing health insurance through the city.

Because Greg’s murder was a “qualifying event,” we could have continued with his coverage through COBRA, but I would’ve had to pay for it myself. It was an exorbitant monthly premium.

Once I had come through the first few months as a widow and single mom (with tremendous, loving support), I set new intentions for my life. I elected to work only two days a week so I could be home with our one-year-old daughter, Gemma. As a result, I lost my own health insurance through the school district. (Yes, at a time in my life I was fortunate enough to have double coverage.) Again, I could have used COBRA, but again, I would have had to pay out of pocket, so the cost was ludicrous.

Staying home with our daughter was my choice. I’m incredibly grateful for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which made that choice easier for me. Because of ACA, I didn’t have to choose between paying an outrageous premium and being home with Gemma. I could be a mom, work part-time, and keep very affordable health insurance, while I rebuilt my life.

When Greg died, community members, local businesses, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, the Coeur d’Alene School District, the city of Coeur d’Alene, Northwestern Mutual, my local (and national) police family, and even expats reached out to support my family. The Kootenai Fire and Police Memorial Foundation established donation accounts in my name. My immediate and extended family flew from across the country and overseas to be with me. With my input, Greg’s service was completely arranged by the police department. I didn’t have to go back to work that school year, as the superintendent and school board immediately granted me time off. The monetary donations I received allowed me to pay my bills and keep my home while I waited for Greg’s death benefits to be processed. I was surrounded by people who helped me every day for over a year afterward. I could not have been more loved and supported.

I only share my story in detail to illustrate just how exceptional it is. Most widows will not experience this level of community and family support and instead will face economic uncertainty and fear. For the majority of widows in our country who have lost health insurance, ACA is a necessity. I implore you. Please fight to keep the Affordable Care Act and reform it or have a comparable replacement before it is repealed.

Unless you have lived it, you can’t imagine the all-encompassing, crushing grief of losing your spouse, or the persistent, overwhelming decisions you must make. You simply can’t fathom having to decide what to engrave on your husband’s headstone or which cemetery plot to choose. You cannot know what it’s like to look your child in the eyes and explain to her that she won’t see her dad again. The life of a widow is difficult enough. Please fight for the widow in this country so she has one less thing to worry about.

Fight for the widow with four kids under the age of six. For the widow who found out she’s pregnant and the widow with a special needs child. Please fight for her. Please fight for the widow who is buried in medical bills from her own chronic illness and for the widow who suffers from unbearable depression and anxiety. Please fight for her. Please fight for the widow who had just moved and doesn’t know a soul in her community and for the widow who can no longer afford her home. Please fight for her. Please fight for the widow awaiting the trial of her husband’s murderer and for the widow who spent the last few months with her husband in hospice. Please fight for her and give her one less worry.

Please fight for the widows who are not as fortunate as me. Fight for these women and their right to affordable health care for themselves and their children.

Humbly, Lindy Moore

Widow of Sergeant Greg Moore #K27