And not just through traditional venues, like Match.com, but on YouTube, on her own website, and on national television. Terri is currently considering proposals from all interested single male suitors, with one condition: the man she marries must have health insurance. (Preferably with low co-pays and no lifetime limit on payable benefits.)
Terri Carlson has a preexisting condition, a rare, genetic autoimmune disease called C4 Complement Deficiency, that leaves her especially vulnerable to complications from common infections like colds and flu. Managing her disease requires regular doctors' visits and several medications. After over two decades as a stay-at-home mother to her four children, a divorce meant Carlson could no longer be covered under her husband's employer's group insurance policy.
Lest we forget, even for a moment, that health care reform in the United States is a women's rights issue: Today, in 21st century America, a woman who spent 24 years contributing to society by working full-time to raise four children and currently works outside the home to support herself, all despite her disability, has, thanks to gender-biased Social Security laws and a broken health care system, decided that the only way she can survive — literally, the only way she feels she can access the medical care that keeps her alive — is to marry a man who can support her by providing her with adequate health insurance.
I don't know what I would do if I were in Terri Carlson's position. As a die-hard feminist and a hopeless romantic, I have a hard time imagining myself ever advertising my eligibility for a health-insurance-based marriage of convenience on YouTube. But, as a sometime-stay-at-home mother myself, I can certainly sympathize with Terri Carlson's plight.
I got my first job at age 16. I have a college degree. I have several years of experience as a paid professional writer. Before my child was born, I often worked two or even three jobs at a time, sometimes working 60 or 70 hours a week. I'm an educated professional woman who has supported herself successfully in the past, and helps to support her family even now with part-time work.
But a without my husband, and his employer insurance policy that accepts people with pre-existing conditions, I can almost guarantee that would not be able to afford private health insurance for myself and my child if I needed it tomorrow.