How do we convince people who do not derive power from it or lose out as a result of it that the White Male Privilege does exist and that it would be almost universally beneficial to eliminate it?
Archive for the 'health care' Category
I cannot for the life of me understand why people who have access to nutritional information still eat at Fast Food restaurants. I’m not talking about people for whom this is the most affordable option for dining-out or people who choose to eat at one fo these places a few times a year. The people who baffle me are the ones who know that books like “Fast Food Nation” or movies like “Supersize Me” exist, and yet they choose to remain in the dark about what it is they are putting into their bodies. I really can’t complain if they know and continue to eat it. Free will is a great and powerful thing. But to CHOOSE not to know. Or to know and not care, like those who are reading about this Taco Bell lawsuit and commenting that they don’t care if it’s meat because it’s delicious. How can you not CARE? It’s unfathomable. To not be interested in what your putting into your body and how it effects your health makes absolutely no sense to me.
A few of my friends are currently engaged in a discussion about the causes of Autism. Their focus is on a study of the MMR Vaccine in which the scientist was completely unethical. Though I agree that THIS study doesn’t exactly support the claim that vaccines cause autism, I don’t think it completely discounts it, either.
I chose have the vaccine separated (when that was an option) with my son, and I’ve chosen to delay it with my daughter because she’s small for her age and there is no separated vaccine available. I’m not avoiding it completely, but I don’t feel I can simply ignore the idea that vaccines may have been a trigger for Autism in the past. I’m sure that if it were a trigger, drug companies have changed the formula at this point, so what may have been a trigger 10 years ago may not be one today.
The fact is, though research has advanced, I don’t think there has been enough discovered to completely rule out vaccines as a trigger, if not a cause. I definitely think that many of the diseases children are vaccinated against are worse than Autism, but I also think that parents should read as much research as possible and make decisions about what they feel is best for their children.
I received my bill from the hospital for my maternity care this morning. They charged a separate room an board fee for my daughter, presumably so that they could bill the insurance company twice. Aetna, though, who only covers 80% of maternity care, of course, passed the bill onto me. They were charged $45,000 for the care of myself and the baby, so my bill, after paying the insurance company monthly so that I don’t have to pay the FULL amount, is still astronomical: $5,000. To have a baby. In the wealthiest country in the world. And I HAVE insurance. Not good insurance, but it’s still insurance. I’m still not going to be able to pay the hospital for quite some time as I am jobless, and when I do start working, they will receive $50 a month for the next 20 years.
But my bill made me think about all of the people who CAN’T pay $50 a month, or even $5 a month: people who are living paycheck to paycheck with no room for error. People who’s entire lives will be destroyed with 4 words, “Let’s run some tests.” It made me angry, and not at the insurance companies or the hospital, because without regulation, people will make a profit where they can, but at the people. MY people. Americans who know someone like me, or worse off than me. Americans who ARE like me. And they DO nothing. They SAY nothing. They write no letters, attend no protests, and are content to sit idly by and watch their parents and grandparents, their friends and neighbors sink deeper into debt, not because they spent too much or didn’t save wisely, but because they became ill.
I’m ashamed of you, America. I’m ashamed of the way you’re treating people who have worked their entire lives to make a better country for YOU, only to abandon them completely in their time of need. I’m ashamed at the ease with which you dismiss them as not your problem, and the callousness with which you bandy about the term “socialism” as if democratic socialism isn’t WORKING in places like Vermont. I’m ashamed of your lack of compassion for those less fortunate, even as they sit next to you in the hospital waiting room or in church. And the Catholic Church is pretty clear that Jesus would be ashamed of you, too.
But guilt is no good to anyone without action. Fight back, America! Even if you don’t agree with the plan currently proposed, find one that you DO agree with. Ask the Congress to do better, to BE better. Don’t allow all of your hard work to go to insurance companies and hospitals. Don’t accept that Bankruptcy is inevitable with a diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or ANY number of illnesses that are expensive to cure and control, but easy to fight. Don’t lose your home because you got sick. Don’t let people die because YOU stayed silent. FIGHT. You asked for the tired, the poor, the hungry. Now what are you going to DO with them?
I’ve had arguments with friends on both sides of this issue, and I hear the same things over and over. One thing few people are talking about is this: is it our moral responsibility to make sure all citizens have access to health care, regardless of their ability to pay? I think we can get into any real debate abotu the pros and cons, we need to convince the American people of this one simple thing.
With the Christian Right, we just need to remind them of their own words over and over again. What WOULD Jesus do? Did he ask for payment when he raised Lazarus from the dead? When he laid hands on the blind, did he ask them to go and find him a coin immediately thereafter? Or did he heal those who needed healing, without question, without demand? Jesus would be on the side of universal health care, and I think he would be appalled that we don’t have it already.
With others, I’ve heard two major arguments. 1. People have to wait in Canada and England for months, sometimes for years, for surgeries they need. 2. The Federal Government is inefficient and we don’t want them running anything. My answers are as follows: 1. People DIE in the United States, the WEALTHIEST country in the world, because they cannot afford health care or their insurance companies turn down life-saving procedures. and 2. I’m pretty sure that in the Declaration of Independence our Founding Fathers mentioned something about what should be done about ineffective governments. If we are to hold to the sacred documents which make out country what it is today, doesn’t it stand to reason that we should be forcing a change within our government if we truly believe that it’s not working for us anymore?
Most years I dread Parent’s Night. Teachers sit for hours on end visiting the few parents who care enough to schow up, unless, of course, you teach in the suburbs. This year I knew what to expect because last year I was busy. At my school, our kids want their parents to show up for parent’s night. For many of them, this is the first time in a long time their teachers have anything good to say about them. On parent’s night, no matter how frustrated I may be, no matter how exhausted, I am reminded that our program works.
After being told that their kids were on Honor Roll, parents cried. When we announced the new appointments to Student Government*, the students cried. I got a lot of hugs, and a lot of the parents made sure to thank us for what we do for their kids. Half of our parents showed up. In a city where half of the kids drop out and schools can go years without seeing their parents, that is amazing. We have a program that works, teachers who care, and parents who show up. And I have to quit my job because I don’t get enough health care.
*teachers appoint government members, students don’t vote.
Because of the substandard health care offered by my company I am being forced to make an extremely difficult decision. I love my job, but the insurance only covers 80% of maternity care. OBGYNs are considered specialists and have a larger copay. Lab tests are expensive. With the salary I’m currently receiving because no one cares about kids who drop-out of school, I can’t afford to stay in my job and add to my family. Health Care apparently isn’t a Family Values issue.
So I have to decide whether I want to expand my family or stay on a career path that will leave me poor, but professionally fulfilled. Is having a larger family worth giving up a job I love? Is it worth staying at a job I love when I’m not earning my full potential and could be taking better care of my family? Will the person who takes my place be able to convince MY kids that an education is the most important thing they will ever get? I know I can’t stay. They’re never going to be able to pay me what I’m worth, and I want more children. Kids are expensive and I don’t make enough money. Sometimes life sucks.