The health care debate is not a theory or “just a discussion.” I am very much affected by the decisions that will debated and voted on. Similar to many people, I too face ongoing medical challenges.
A year and a half ago, I was working three jobs trying to make ends meet. None of my employers could provide health insurance because I was new to the companies and only worked part-time at each. It was okay though because I was young, healthy, and in pretty good shape. Then one evening that all changed for me.
I woke up in the middle of the night and made my way to the bathroom to relieve myself when I fainted and fell striking my head on the corner of the bathtub and the hard tile floor. The accident caused damage to my upper spinal column. It took over a year of rehabilitation therapy and re-learning things to be able to participate in daily and work activities. I could not have made progress without the affordable care act, and the care of physicians.
Today, I am uncertain how I will ever be able to fund my “pre-existing condition” and it’s needs under this new health care bill. I know that I am not alone and many others are experiencing fears about finding the funds to pay for their medical care too.
Many Americans with serious health issues have been anxiously waiting for the release of “Senate-health care bill discussion draft.” This entire bill has been written in secret by white conservative men, who’ve refused to even invite white democrats to the table in order to help craft the bill. This is quite problematic, because the United States of America is made up of people of all nationalities, cultures, creeds and religions; those living with disabilities; women; LGBTQ individuals; and those of every economic class and educational background etc. We are woven together, by our humanity.
It is our diversity that makes up fabric of this great nation. Therefore, all of us should be represented and given a voice at the table, when health care is considered. I sincerely hope, they can have a civilized discussion and that our leader’s will listen and re-write the bill in a way that honors the needs of all covered by the health care bill, and does not take from those who are underemployed or unemployed struggling to make ends meet.
Katie Johnson (left – in jean jacket) at the Minnesota Capitol building)
As I began reading the bill published on the Washington Post’s webpage I became very disheartened. The bill is a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing. The bill creates an unpaid-for tax cut for wealthy people and industries. It reduces government health care spending by scaling back federal assistance that helps people afford their insurance premiums. In the Article, Senate Republicans’ Obamacare replacement is bad for America’s health, the editorial board writes,
“..the quality of taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans would decline. As deductibles rise, federal help with out-of-pocket medical expenses would also disappear. Meantime, Medicaid, the state-federal program covering the poor and near-poor, would endure punishing cuts over time, likely leading states to reduce enrollment, benefits or both. The only option for those falling off the Medicaid rolls would be skimpy insurance plans they could rarely if ever use.”
This bill is unacceptable because it cuts the safety net for the most vulnerable in society and hands money over to the wealthy. The bill puts people’s very lives at risk.
I am invested in this conversation, because injustice and suffering trouble me. We are all interconnected and when one person suffers in our community we all ache.
In the midst of uneasiness and restlessness; the book of Matthew 25:35-36 bring hope and light.
“for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36
These verses call us to action. They call us love our neighbor and care for those of us who are most vulnerable in the community.
These verses call us to advocate on the behalf of those who of us who cannot be heard, because of our sexuality, immigration status, religion, race or color, economic status. This kind advocacy means providing our resources and time and talents to care for those who are falling through the cracks due to a rapidly changing political system.
This kind of advocacy means we keep showing up to let our senators and congressmen know that we are here and we need all represented at the table of this health-care senate bill discussion. This is not about money, but about real people who risk losing their lives because of lack of proper medical care. In the coming day’s do not loose heart but let us stand together, and help bring light to this “secret bill.” Let us also continue us think in new creative ways in order to create sustainable self-sufficient communities in order to love and provide for our neighbor.