Friday, January 18, 2019 | 12:45
SALEM, Oregon – An employee of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Oregon said she could not know why her federally-paid insurance had expired several months ago and was not to be reinstated because of the closure. partial government, which left her struggling to find the way to pay nutrients that keep her alive.
Jasmine Tool said she only had enough of the preparation to go into a food tube until Friday.
"If you do not get more, I will start starving," she told the Associated Press on Thursday.
The US government has said that employees with active insurance will not experience any failures at closing. The situation of Tool is unusual but shows the unexpected effects that the stop can have on people.
US Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, highlighted the critical situation of Tool, who called for an end to the four-week stalemate.
"How can a country as rich and powerful as ours fail Jasmine so shamefully?" Wyden told the Senate this week. "There is only one immediate solution, the shutdown must end and it must stop now."
Tool, 30, has an inoperable but benign brain tumor that develops slowly and a stomach paralyzed by a condition called gastroparesis.
Her health issues led to her taking sick leave in February 2017 after working at the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge complex, a rugged desert expanse housing antelopes, dwarf rabbits, bighorn sheep of America and mountain lions.
She was working at the Lakeview shelter headquarters and claimed that medical resources in the small town near the California border were rare.
The tool can not eat by mouth, so she gets her nutrients through a tube in her small intestine and hydrates through another tube in her arm. A home health worker came every week to watch her.
To seek treatment, she would go to the UC Medical Center in Davis, California, for six hours. A few days ago, a CT scanner revealed that she had a tumor on an ovary. She made an appointment closer to home in Carson City, Nevada, but learned that her insurance, provided by her employer, was no longer active.
She called Blue Cross Blue Shield last Friday and was told that her coverage ended in October. When Tool asked what had happened and how to get it back, she was told that she needed to call her HR department. Tool called the federal agency, but received only one record referring to the closure of the government.
The office of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland rings on a recording saying, "Due to lack of funding, our office is closed." The insurer did not immediately respond to a voice message soliciting a comment.
Wyden's office said his staff was in regular contact with Tool and urged the Federal Office of Personnel Management and government agencies to try to reinstate its health care coverage.
The nutrient provider will not send more without a home health worker, Tool said. The worker will only come if Tool is covered by insurance or if she pays for it herself, which she said she could not afford.
Tool, who is engaged and has two sons aged 12 and 7, said she would try to stretch the last packs.
"My biggest problem right now is just getting food supplies," she said.