"Egberto, get this woman on your show," was the screaming Facebook tag I got from Daniel Cohen, my good friend and President of Indivisible Houston. I immediately read her message, and my heart sank. I was happy for her, but have we come to this? Really?
Here is the Facebook post from our friend Stephanie Person, a community organizer in New York.
After TWO YEARS without healthcare, I came home to see that I finally got my insurance ID card in the mail. First, I was silent. Then, I cried happy tears.
I feel a huge sense of relief. A weight released that I didn’t know I was carrying around with me. For the past two years, I was working as a contract worker, which means I wasn’t entitled to health insurance through my job.
Whenever I got sick, I would just ignore the problem until it went away. I haven’t been to a doctor in over TWO YEARS because I never knew how much I’d end up spending out of pocket.
I’m lucky that chapter is over for me, and I’m lucky that I’ve been in good health, but many are still living without healthcare coverage. Many have the added stress of preexisting conditions, special needs children, and expensive hospital bills. Even the simplest procedure can cost thousands of dollars.
Many are poor, but not “poor enough” for Medicaid (in 2018, the threshold was $28,676 per year for a family of three and $16,753 per year for an individual).
75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, which means unexpected surgeries are out of the question for those who are uninsured. For many of us, the healthcare “plan” is getting rushed to the ER when it’s often too late.
Though so many of us struggle, we are a wealthy country—we shouldn’t have people dying because they didn’t crowdfund enough for life-saving surgery. Other countries with far smaller economies can take care of their citizens—why can’t we?
There’s no real reason except greed. This is why we shouldn’t be tying healthcare to people’s employment. This is why we need a #singlepayer system. This is why we need #MedicareForAll.
These are the words of one young woman who was ecstatic that she got something that should be her birthright. She got healthcare.
I was invited to speak at the weekly Indivisible TX-02 Northeast Houston meeting yesterday. One of their leaders, Patricia Day Gallini, asked me to speak about the Politics Done Right show about a doctor who so feared the word "Socialism" that he would rather be a corporate slave. To be clear, he used the word slave when he described how hard he has to work because of what the executives are doing to cost save -- read, maximize their profits for the execs and shareholders. I blogged our encounter here.
The discussion quickly turned to healthcare. They were complaining that even with Obamacare, healthcare was unaffordable. It is amazing how many simply use Obamacare as a expensive catastrophic health insurance policy as they pay for service at low cost centers. That is exactly what the private insurance want.
Private insurance will always find ways to maximize their profits. Policy owners are just a commodity to be exploited. They profit by denying coverage. They profit by making deductibles so high, they make the insurance unusable for many.
And yes, she will be on Politics Done Right soon.
About Egberto Willies
Egberto Willies is a political activist, author, political blogger, radio show host, business owner, software developer, web designer, and mechanical engineer in Kingwood, TX. He is an ardent Liberal that believes tolerance is essential. His favorite phrase is “political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship”. Willies is currently a contributing editor to DailyKos, OpEdNews, and several other Progressive sites. He was a frequent contributor to HuffPost Live. He won the 2nd CNN iReport Spirit Award and was the Pundit of the Week.