The Introverted Activist: Back In the Game

I dropped out of the political scene a bit ago.  I went to Detroit for a week in February for Amphibian Management School. After a whole week of being off social media and news, it was way too hard to pick it back up again. I have tried. I have dipped my toe in the water once or twice. But then I became so depressed that I could barely get out of bed, and it just didn’t seem worth it. That’s the definition of White Privilege, isn’t it? Being able to turn it off for a while? But I’m back.  I can’t afford not to be anymore.

To be quite frank, the Senate’s version of the healthcare reform bill is terrifying. And evil. Gutting Medicaid? 40% of kids with disabilities are on Medicaid. Essential Health Benefits removed? So prenatal care is no longer considered a basic human right. While we’re at it, why not cut more from Planned Parenthood? So more women will be getting pregnant, having to stay pregnant, but not receiving the care they need to ensure a healthy baby? This is ridiculous.

Apply head to desk. Repeat.

And then there’s me. I am a walking pre-existing condition. I have asthma, but I also have a chronic, hereditary liver condition that can (unpredictably) affect pretty much any system in my body. So I get shoved into a high-risk pool because of my genetics, even though I take good care of myself and have only been hospitalized once. I’ll pay more for insurance. Because let’s face it, no insurance company is going to provide benefits at lower costs than they have to just out of the goodness of their hearts. And if I do begin to have more issues, I could be capped a million dollars over my lifetime.  Anybody know how quickly you can hit a million dollars in health costs? Imagine having an expensive disability. Once you hit the cap, it’s all out of pocket. People will have to decide whether to eat or get health care, and that’s not one tiny bit hyperbole.

 

What I did this week:

  • Signed the online petition asking Angela Merkel to lead the other 19 countries in committing to a cleaner planet at G20. I’m not a big believer in petitions here in the US because too often they aren’t designed to lead to action. But this one allows me to put some hope in someone who can DO something.  It took under a minute, and it’s terribly encouraging to see the numbers of signers going up in real time.

 

  • I called my Senators. A bunch of times. I left messages because I can’t get through to real people normally, which is fine. When I’ve gotten hold of my Republican Sentators’ Republican staffers, they sound bored. But the message on the machine is upbeat. This week, my theme has been the health care bill. First, I asked that they say a big, fat NO. Then I asked that they push the vote until AFTER the recess to give more people time to read what’s IN it. Seriously. Spinning it behind closed doors like some twisted Rumpelstiltskin, holding the BIG REVEAL on Thursday, then trying to railroad it through a vote in under a week? Nuh-uh. Want to call your Senators? Find them here.

 

  • Then I called the Senate Finance Office at 202-224-4515. They are tallying calls on people asking for a PUBLIC forum on the health care bill.  At least if they hold public forums and still screw us over, it will be obvious that they were planning to railroad us all along. The harder they make denial for some of our citizens, the better off we will all be. 25% of Americans have no idea what’s in the health bill currently.

 

What did you do this week? Shout it out in the comments, even if it was “I took care of myself and stayed away from politics.” Because we all have permission to rest and recover. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Or maybe not marathon. Cage-match, perhaps?

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19 thoughts on “The Introverted Activist: Back In the Game

  1. This week I…had to choose between eating and paying for medications. Because even under the ACA, ain’t no for-profit insurance company gonna make anything easy. (Food won, btw.) I would be in absolute terror right now, if I truly thought about what the GOP Senate is attempting. So I’m sticking with minimal thought, plenty o’ rage, and how-to-bring-home-more-bacon strategizing. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the link to the petition. I’m glad that you’ve rallied after your break to take up resistance again.

    This week I rejoiced in that after a year without, I now have a family doctor. I met with my new MD on Tuesday. I did not grumble like I usually have done when she asked that I get a mammogram, get a bunch of blood drawn for routine baseline records, go to WalMart to have my BP recorded three times before I see her for a follow-up on the 19th.

    All paid for by my province’s health care plan. Not a penny out of my pocket. Other than what I happily pay in taxes.

    I don’t mean to gloat, if it sounds like that. I mean to sound grateful. For the other thing I have done is closely follow what my online friends south of the border are dealing with.

    I strongly object if I hear someone say, “Thank goodness it’s not our problem.” I’m sorry, but I believe it is. First of all, there are Trump wannabe’s in every political system, including Canada’s. Secondly, ours is a global economy and when the heads of drug and chemical and military companies are given a free pass in the US, all people in every country on the planet are at risk.

    Hm. Has it been done before? Have people from other nations contacted the US Senators, congressmen, the Whitehouse to speak out? Surely I cannot be the first to feel compelled to do this?

    • I didn’t read it as gloating. I am glad that there are countries in the world who take care of their citizens. And you’re right. This mess should be a wake-up call to the rest of the world. It could happen anywhere there is apathy and this much polarization between parties.

  3. Thank you for taking up the cause. I’m so grateful to live in a state (CA) with two senators actively fighting against this hateful, harmful bill.

  4. Like Marty, I’m grateful to live in California. Not that I have any health insurance at all; I was covered by MediCal (which is, I guess, California’s state-run version of Medicaid?), but it lapsed in June, and I didn’t know I had to reapply, and I just… haven’t done it yet. So I’m also grateful that I’m not ill, either acutely or chronically.

    My activism level is limited to that Merkel petition and RT’ing stuff. It makes me too angry, and I don’t like being angry, so, like you (were), I’m on a “break” from activism. I’d watched a bunch of food documentaries, and I’m seriously considering a diet change toward veganism. Not for any PETA reasons, but for my own health. So I’m on a juice cleanse. 2/3 through! Going pretty well, although the “improvement/s” I was hoping for hasn’t/haven’t really shown up. :/

    • Don’t discount the value of a signal boost on social media. That’s how people learn. And it’s how I get a great deal of my information.

      I’m on a vegetarian diet right now. Low fat, too. My liver is displeased with me, and I’m trying to make it my friend again.

      • I completed the cleanse and have become a “reduceatarian”, meaning consuming LESS animal products than ever before. But non-dairy “milks” just do not cut it, for cereal or coffee, so we’re back to the dairy. Also, the soy “cheese” I bought is “meh” at best, so probably that, too…

        We don’t hate tofu yet, though, so that’s a step towards meatless!

        And I’m still not having beautiful regular BMs, which was supposed to be a big thing in A CLEANSE, amiright? So maybe my pre-cleanse diet wasn’t so bad. after all.

      • I have become essentially vegetarian for now. I do use milk because, like you said, the substitutes aren’t great. Even reducing our animal products by a little bit makes a difference to the environment.

  5. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I enjoyed readding your work. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

  6. So this week I called my Senators and told them to please support the GOP plan and to maybe just maybe consider certain changes that can lower premiums for everybody (such as allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines, and easing restrictions on individuals purchasing medications from overseas pharmacies). But my calls will not matter because I am in MI and it is all politics. My Senators do not want to make it better for me or anyone else in this state.

    Will changes to health insurance affect me? Possibly since I have cancer and am currently taking a medication with a $10,000 a month price tag. How do you like them apples? But guess what? No one owes me. You, your family or anyone else including the government does not owe me to pay for my treatment while bankrupting themselves and the country.

    Health care will not improve with the government footing the bill and all you have to do is look to other countries with socialized medicine to see proof. So yeah while you may have access to care, how good will that care be? And don’t even think about moving to a rural area because there they have lost so many doctors and insurers, those people really have no access to insurance let alone medical care. Certainly not the cutting edge care or skilled doctors available in larger metropolitan areas.

    • Oh, my gosh, Linda! I am so sorry to hear about your cancer. So sorry. Praying for you and your family. Political differences don’t change the way I feel about you and the Brown Dawgs.

      I’m in the same boat that you are regarding whether our phone calls make a difference. I’m in a red state with a Rep who hasn’t held a town hall in 20 years. The Dems have their heads so far in the clouds that I despair of them EVER getting their act together.

      I think the option to buy insurance across state lines is simply brilliant. Some states actually have working exchanges. It would be worth looking into WHY those exchanges are working, too.

      I think the answer to escalating insurance costs is not a simple one, and the ACA definitely has LOTS of issues that need to be addressed. I am completely and utterly for balancing the budget. Part of the problem here is that there’s a tax cut for the wealthiest. That’s what seems weird. If the tax cuts weren’t there, and we were genuinely trying to balance a budget, I’d see it differently. I don’t want to see kids and the disabled lose coverage, and I don’t want folks like you with expensive pre-existing conditions to go bankrupt because of health care costs.

      I’m hoping for a bipartisan solution. Because when both sides work together, we’re just so much stronger.

      Giant hugs to you and the Brown Dawgs. If you ever need to talk, hit me up.

  7. The stuff that is going on in the world (I’m in the UK where at least we have healthcare, even if it is hanging in the balance!) is terrifying, I don’t blame you for taking a brief step back! I’ve been doing that a little bit over the past few weeks just to clear my head after our recent election – but can’t sit still for much longer.

A penny for your thoughts! And by penny, I mean a warm-fuzzy in your heart.

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