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.