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Wrong Hillary Rossi?
Washington Assistive Technology Foundation
(2 Total References)
Washington Access Fund [ Stenbeck ]
By, Hillary Rossi
Needed: Portable health plan
Hillary Rossi kept her health insurance through six heart surgeries, several strokes and diabetes.She only ran into trouble when she tried to carry it from job to job.Rossi
was born with a rare heart defect that paralyzed her
left side by the time she
was 10.That left her
with two unwanted labels: a disability and a pre-existing medical condition.She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1998 with little idea how those labels would slow her career.Hillary Rossi
screen for more information at her
job as an outreach coordinator at the Washington Assistive Technology Foundation
in Wallingford recently.
Four years after leaving school, Rossi
found herself stuck behind a cash register at the University Village Barnes & Noble, scared to leave for fear she
would have to pay thousands of dollars if her
new employer made her
wait months for health coverage.Or worse, she
could wind up with a plan that did not cover critical drugs and treatment.She
stayed at the bookseller for another two years.
"She (Rossi) is always going to have to be careful her whole life (about) where she is" going to work, Pollitz said.
"I would ... say that medical coverage will always be in the back of my mind," said Rossi
Starting and stallingRossi
family worried about health coverage from the day she
was born in 1975 with tricuspid atresia, a disorder that destroyed one of the four chambers of her
The delivery was not even covered because Rossi's mother secured benefits after she
became pregnant, which made the pregnancy an uncovered pre-existing condition.Rossi
has been dealing with pre-existing conditions ever since.Rossi
survived childhood, despite warnings from some doctors that she
should not even fix her
teeth or attend college because she
would not live that long.Thanks to medical advances, there are no longer such timetables on her
said: "I grew up knowing I needed health care."Rossi went to public schools in Des Moines and joined the Camp Fire Girls.She
began building a résumé by earning two scholarships to attend The Evergreen State College
and an internship at the Governor's
Committee on Disability Issues and Employment.Throughout these years, she
managed to maintain health coverage.