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During the lobby day events today, Union Carpenter Bill Frost of Carpenters Local 218 spoke to members, legislators and the press about his experience while working with health care coverage for he and his family and what it's meant to be without work for a long period of time.
Good morning, my name is Bill Frost, and I am a carpenter. For the last 35 years I have driven into Boston each morning to work on construction projects. I guess I should say only 34 years, because this year?? not so much.
Now, no one here needs me to tell them what has happened to the economy or that Resort Casinos will create job opportunities for the building trades. You all know as well as I do how desperately those jobs are needed by those of us on the fringes of the economy. What I can explain though, is how those jobs will impact working families.
Four years ago, my wife of 26 years was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I sat in her doctor??s office and heard the diagnosis, my fist thought was, ??We will go into Boston. We will find the best doctors, and we will fight.??
Because I am a participant in an excellent Health Insurance Plan through the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund, this is exactly what we were able to do.
After chemotherapy, after surgery, then radiation, and still more chemo, my wife is now cancer free. In this time frame, however, the economy has tanked and health benefits are almost non existent. And I??ve got to tell you, if I were to find myself today back in that doctor??s office, hearing that malignant diagnosis for the first time, I??m afraid that now my first thought would be, ??How am I going to pay for this???
The construction and service industry jobs though would be created by this bill mean much more than just the ability to pay our bills on time. These jobs allow the underemployed the opportunity to plan their futures and to confidently make life-altering decisions.
The working families of Massachusetts deserve the passage of this bill.