Right now, our country is grinding to a halt. Restaurants and bars are closed. More and more states are issuing “Stay Home” or “Shelter in Place” orders to slow this pandemic. Everyone is afraid that, if we don’t take these extreme measures, our hospitals will overflow, we will run out of ventilators, and horrible choices will have to be made about who lives and dies.
In short, people are afraid they won’t be able to get the health care that they need.
While this is a new fear for some people, millions of others in this country have lived with it every day for years. I’ve lived with it my whole life.
I am already well acquainted with a system that routinely decides who deserves testing and who doesn’t, because I am a pre-existing condition. I was born with a rare genetic disease, so our health care system decided I was too detrimental to their profit margins, and therefore didn’t deserve care. Before the Affordable Care Act, I struggled to access even the most basic of care, much less the specialists I needed to see. I have cancelled appointments, rationed medications, and postponed surgeries because I couldn’t afford them.
My story is not unique, it is shared by countless others. We live in a country where our pharmaceutical companies are more concerned with profits than providing treatment, and our administration is more concerned with protecting them than the people it serves.
Right now, the only thing that stands between any of us and our profit-driven, predatory health care system is the ACA. For the last 10 years, it has protected my right to health care. Yours too, whether you realized it or not.
Despite everything, the Trump administration is STILL supporting a lawsuit to dismantle the entire ACA, with no replacement plan of any kind. Senator McConnell is preventing the Senate from voting on bills to expand health care access. Republican lawmakers nationwide are voting against measures to expand Medicaid and reduce the cost of prescription drugs. The GOP is determined to restrict health care access, still, by any means necessary.
Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever been afraid of being denied care. I hope to god that it is. But, either way, now you know this fear too.
So do something about it.
Vote. Them. All. Out.
Starting today, pick a Democratic challenger to any GOP seat, and support them. Campaign for them, donate to them, make phone calls for them, pick up their groceries, whatever it is that they need. If you can’t do any of that, support organizations that support Democratic candidates across the country! Give your time, your talents, and your voice. Use your fear, let it drive you to help create sweeping change!
It is abundantly clear that we can no longer accept living in a system that decides who gets health care and who doesn’t. This fight is all of our’s now, and I have hope we will rise to the challenge.
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