How is the government shutdown affecting Americans? Yahoo asked those impacted to share their stories. Here’s one.
COMMENTARY | When the shutdown first hit the news, yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect. Here it is over 24 hours later and a big storm is coming down the road. I am forced to face the past and live in fear again. In 2009, I was working for a company for almost five years and one morning, during the recession, I was laid off due to cut back, like so many other Americans. I lost my car and my apartment, had to feed my kids by getting food from Food Donation Centers and after a couple of years with only part-time jobs, I finally landed a great, fabulous full-time position with benefits in Bowling Green, Ky.
However, at 46 years old and being a single mom, I still do not bring home equal to a couple each making minimum wage. It’s difficult paying bills and feeding the family, wondering each day how I am going to make it until my next pay check. Now a day after the government shutdown, I woke, to find that my medical insurance has climbed another $80 per month. That’s $40 deducted from each pay check. The equivalent to 1 tank of gas per week in my car just to get back and forth to work with no extra trips. So, I will be faced with even bigger decisions on pay day. With two growing kids and an even tighter budget, I will have to be a miracle worker with grocery shopping as if it wasn’t bad enough before. I know $40 dollars every two weeks doesn’t seem like a lot to most people (or even our government) but to me and family it can mean three days of meals to feed us.
My fiancée and I are getting married in October and I found out that with this government shutdown they are not issuing new Social Security cards to anyone. So, even though I will be married, I will not be able to change my last name to join my life with my husband. For how long? I can only wonder with deep disappointment. We have waited years for this moment and now it will be clouded by a government who can’t seem to do the right thing for its people.
I want to say that I am holding out hope that our government will see that it is the root cause of so many American dreams being snuffed out and make the right changes. Our government focuses on one thing (health care) as being our only problem in this country, but in reality, there is so much more that needs to be changed before we can fly our flag with pride again. Wake up Congress, it’s time to stop the merry-go-round and help your people, not hinder them!