I just spent an hour and twenty minutes on hold with Mass Health—twice in one day—only to be told by some automated bitch that "we are experiencing high call volume. Please call back later," and subsequently hung up on.
Why, you might ask?
Because my health insurance lapsed. No one informed me. No one called, no one sent me a letter. I found out because I showed up at a doctor's office where I typically have no co-pay, and the receptionist said, "Okay, for this appointment, that'll be $80."
And why, exactly, did this happen?
Well, someone at Mass Health arbitrarily decided on June 6th that I make too much money to deserve government-assisted healthcare. Despite the fact that I am on government-assisted programs because I cannot make enough money for health-related reasons. (Not to mention that I am now going to have to pay a fine for this past month for not having health insurance.)
If I do not get a hold of these people, tomorrow I will have to drop at least $100 on asthma medication. ASTHMA MEDICATION. Which I have needed and been using since 1995. Twenty-two years.
I know I am fortunate to live in Massachusetts and therefore have a state health plan. I am a fortunate American right now. But if this is the best-case scenario, then dear God, what is the worst?
The only thing I feel grateful for right now is the fact that this didn't happen two months ago. Because if it had, I would've had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for a major surgery and the five days I spent in the hospital. Never mind that even with the health plan I had, it still cost me thousands for the treatments designed to keep me out of the hospital, because it involved pain in my uterus and the treatments "weren't necessary."
What do we do with this? Who is on our side? Who wants this for other people?
About a year ago, I wrote this post about the primaries and how frightened I was, and how Hillary Clinton was the lesser of two evils. The year before that, I wrote THIS post on why "all lives matter" is not productive, and how ashamed I was about saying that phrase and meaning it.
Listen, I get that people change their minds. People grow, they truly do. People learn. That's clearly evidenced in these past few writings I've done annually. I still regret saying "all lives matter." I still regret being staunchly against Hillary. I still think that Bernie Sanders was the better option, but Hillary has always been a better option than people—including myself at one point—give her credit for.
But today, I know this much is true.
If you voted for Trump; if you didn't vote at all; if you voted third party: you better realize that you voted to put people's lives at risk, in more ways than one. You voted to put my life at risk. And this is why "we all can't just get along." Because not having a female president is more important than the actual lives of the people of this country. Because having an openly racist leader is more important than the other people who live here. Because emails were more important. Because money was more important. Because standing by Bernie Sanders in the end on "principle" was more important.
Let me tell you this: there is nothing more important to a country than the well-being of its people. If you don't take care of a country's people, you don't have a country. Period. This includes healthcare. This includes global warning. This includes gun control. This includes immigration. This includes same-sex marriage. This includes all of the social issues there are.
If you're reading this, you likely know me. If you don't know me, I guarantee that you know someone else in this position, or worse. If you did any of the above, you made a mistake. You put my life at risk. You put millions of lives at risk. You knew this would happen. Do you regret it yet?
Do not call yourself my friend. Do not talk about how we should all just learn to get along. There is no peace here.