Monday, January 16, 2017

Why I'm Marching #5: Because Spiders Bite

I know someone, a single person, who lives on $12,000 a year. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. This person has a college degree and $30,000 in student loan debt.

But other than that pesky federal debt, this person I know makes ends meet on $12,000 a year. It is possible to do this if you are single, share living space in certain urban neighborhoods, don't own a car or a smart phone, and you have a keen eye for trash picking.

The biggest problem for a person like this is the catastrophic health issue. So verily, the Affordable Healthcare Act is a Gods-send.

This person I know got bit on the hand by a smallish spider. It wasn't a black widow or a brown recluse. Let's just call it the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

After 24 hours, the Itsy Bitsy spider bite was a small red pimple. Another day later, it was bigger, redder, and tender to the touch.

At that development, the person was persuaded to go to urgent care and get the spider bite checked out.

The doctor prescribed a pretty strong round of antibiotics for the spider bite. Itsy Bitsy Spiders, while not necessarily venomous, can leave some weird bacteria behind when they bite. It's this kind of thing, the doctor said, that needs to be caught early.

My dear friend recovered from her spider bite without incident.

Let's imagine, though, that my friend had no health insurance. Even that initial visit to the doctor would run $100. Then the antibiotic, depending on what kind it was, might be another $100. So it would be very, very easy to ignore an insignificant little spider bite, even after a week when it got larger. It might even be worrisome but not actionable when the bite got really large and the whole hand started to swell. After all, a swollen hand would cost more to treat than a little pimple, so the price tag gets larger.

A person with a spider bite could wind up with a grossly swollen hand and arm, and a fever. Treatment might or might not be successful. It could include amputation. It could end in tragedy, if the victim let it go long enough.

Friends, I can tell you that, in the population of students I teach, there are many stories of grandmas and grandpas (usually in their 40's or 50's) who went untreated for treatable illnesses and then died young. This is shameful for a First World country! Absolutely shameful! Talk about right to life! Despicable.

I am going to Washington, DC. I will be marching for single-payer health care that is affordable for everyone. No one should prosper from the sickness of others, except the people who actively help them to get well. Hospitals and medicines should not be a business!

It's a little less than a week until the march. If you want me to carry an intention for you, leave it in the comments box. I will write or copy out all the intentions and put them in my pockets, so that your concerns will go with me to the march. Once more unto the breach.


Jono said...

All my close cousins live in Europe. They have all expressed sympathy, but wonder what the hell is going on over here. We cannot let civil rights be rolled back and single payer is the only plan that will cover everyone. We are in for a fight, but I feel energized to carry it on.

anne marie in philly said...


the repuke-licans only care about you in the womb; once you are out, it's FUCK YOU! yet we the people pay for our congresspeople's healthcare in our taxes. FUCK THEM!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I know we Canadians can be unbearably smug about our universal healthcare system but in all honesty, I think it's a crime against the American people that you don't have one too.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

It's hard for me living in Canada with universal healthcare to wrap my head around this. I'm with Debra, my fellow Canuck, on this. It's a crime against the American people.


11,604 a year is what I live on..I have medicare and medicaid..if they gop fuck with them both I will be fucked..I'm a diabetic/high blood pressure..and have damaged nerve which means I have to have 3 different types of medicines to be able to sleep with out leg cramps and that doesn't always you march for me.

mshatch said...

I thank you for marching for this. I currently have insurance through the ACA and if I didn't I would not be able to have the surgery I am soon going to need. I can't believe what a backward country we are not be insuring our citizens.

e said...

The US slips further backward with the repeal of the ACA. Soon, we won't be a 'First World' nation, if, indeed, we are now.
My unscientific evaluation is that we are a 'Developing Nation' now and will slide further until we are considered a 'Third World' nation by the rest of the globe.

Single payer, the only way for this to work...

Ol'Buzzard said...

Good for you. I wish we were in a position to join you.
the Ol'Buzzard

Teacats said...

March for a young couple that is giving away their dog tonight at the local drugstore -- because they will be kicked out of their apartment if they keep the dog. Rental places are hard to find -- and keep.

March because an older couple that has done everything "right" by working hard and going without anything special and have diseases and are frightened that their Medicare will be cut.

March because a 108-year-old woman in Ohio (check the news!) has to Go Fund Me so that she can afford to stay in her senior-care facility.

March because a woman has stayed at a job even though she is sexually harassed by a miserable creepy asshole -- because it is a job -- and is told to be grateful to have one.

March for each and every senior that has to navigate through complex and confusing levels of paperwork or computer screens and hours on the phone -- just to get Medicare, or Medicaid or even get electricity.

March for the sheer lack of help for families with a member who are struggling with mental health issues.

March for a young woman who walks to work each morning -- and again at night -- because transit has not reached her area. In the dark and in every kind of weather.

March for lack of real sex education in our schools -- and for lack of real vocational training -- and for equal pay.

March because it is the 21st Century. Say that out loud! Twenty-First. And women are STILL at odds with having real power in so many industries and so many levels of government! Imagine if we could go back and talk to those women who fought so hard for the ERA! What would they say? How many more years will we have to keep marching?

March because We The Pagans, the Witches, the Wyrd and the Wise shall raise Wands and Words that Day wherever we are .... and send deep, rich and strong power to the Marchers.