It’s difficult for me to articulate the rage I feel about our current government’s willingness to commit murder, yes murder, against millions of its citizens by denying them basic access to health care. Everything I want to write feels so radical, so hyperbolic. And yet…
DH and I tried watching Man in the High Castle a few months back. I was not impressed. In academia, the thing you study tends to say a lot about you. In Don DeLillo’s WHITE NOISE, for instance, the main character is a professor of “Hitler Studies” (but he doesn’t speak German!), and watching this show made me feel like this main character, a voyeur into my deepest, darkest impulses to protect my own white privilege. It felt gross. Not a fantasy I wish to indulge in, obviously. Anyway, there’s a scene where one of the main characters stands beside a freeway and all this ash is falling around him. He turns to the man who had pulled over to help him fix his flat tire, and the man explains that there’s a concentration camp nearby where they incinerate the elderly and the disabled. “A drag on the state,” he says.
I think about that scene a lot on days like these. The flippant way the man so easily accepted the death of…how many? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? A drag on the state.
I think of the time I switched jobs and was pregnant and could not get affordable insurance because I was a “pre-existing condition.” A pregnant woman at 31. A walking pre-existing condition. Imagine.
A drag on the state.
I think of my grandmother who worked so hard for most of her life so that one day, a generation later, I could go to college and prosper, pay taxes, contribute to society. My grandmother who is now dependent on Medicaid for her care because what middle class family can afford to pay 3K a month for her long-term care? Even if our family pooled our resources together, we could never afford such a price tag on our own. And yet…this is what Republicans would ask of us.
A drag on the state.
The Republicans bill only has 17% of public approval, and why? Because all of us have stories like these. Stories where we had to go without a doctor’s visit because the burden would be too much. Because we had to choose between paying a heating bill or getting that weird lump, pain, consistent cough, checked out. We wanted something better and the ACA made steps toward that. Yes, it’s not perfect, but anything that shoves 33 million people off of their insurance is not a viable alternative. It is a humanitarian crisis.
Or perhaps it’s..a drag on the state?
For many Americans today who rely on the ACA, the Republicans might as well have pushed them into the gas chamber. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Call your Senators. Make their lives hell. Tell them what you want for yourself and your family. We are the wealthiest country on this planet, but history will judge us by how we treat our most vulnerable populations–by how we treat our sick and our elderly.
Raise hell. Contact your Representatives.