Thursday, June 28, 2012

To The Purists Who Don't Think That My Daughter's Life Is Enough To Celebrate:


The Supreme Court has upheld "Obamacare"/the Affordable Care Act. This morning when I woke up and logged on to the internet, I expected to see a few snide or negative comments from the handful of Republicans on my Facebook friends list. To my surprise, they hadn't said a word about it. That would have made for a great morning, if it wasn't for the fact that what I did see was several left-wing, self-identified progressives who were actually angry that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the act. At first, I only saw about two comments like that, so I just ignored it. Then I saw a few more of them. It certainly wasn't the majority of people, but it was coming from some high-profile supposedly "progressive" activists.

The one that pissed me off the most was from Cindy Sheehan.
"Like I said before, I refuse to buy shitty, high cost death insurance from private companies. Universal, single-payer healthcare (with holistic coverage) or NOTHING. I don't have insurance today because I can't afford it..and just because Obama says that I must buy it doesn't mean I will be able to afford it tomorrow. FTS."

Sadly, the person on my friends list who shared Sheehan's comment was actually in agreement with it. This privileged Special White Woman Sheehan was an anti-war activist during President Bush's administration whose son was a soldier who died in Iraq. Ever since then, she's been held up as some sort of madonna figure in the eyes of white hipster pseudo-activists even though she didn't give a damn about the war until she lost someone in it. She's done so much white-privileged b.s. that her acolytes and admirers are now almost exclusively white.

Anyway, when I saw the Sheehan comment posted the woman on my friends list (Emma Rosenthal), I simply said that the quote was completely ignorant. Of course, Rosenthal got indignant because she considers Sheehan to be a personal friend of hers (even though she's never once commented on anything Emma has said or even acknowledged it when Rosenthal tags in a post. After I posted my comment, the white privilege got as thick as mud. I've tried to give her food for thought when I see her exhibit a lot of ignorance about people of color issues and her barely concealed transphobia. I put up with a lot of her white privilege fuckery, but today just wasn't the day for that, I guess.

She started getting really condescending and telling me not to talk to her that way when she was spewing out all of these insults directed at me, because I happen to benefit from the Affordable Care Act that she and Sheehan can afford to just dismiss. It got down to her making the really low blow of saying how the ACA wasn't going to cure my "fucking cancer". I was hurt really deep by that, but I just pointed out to her that even a single-payer health care system isn't going to cure my "fucking cancer", because there is no cure for my "fucking cancer". Then she got down to saying that well, she's talked to people of color who don't like the ACA either. After telling her that she doesn't speak for those people, she started using the tone argument and I posted a link to the Derailing for Dummies site. Of course, she became indignant about the ablism in that title, but she had nothing to say about the ablism involved in Sheehan's call for universal health care or "NOTHING".

She de-friended me.

I'm not going to lie. It really hurt me.

I'm the third generation in my family to develop cancer. My grandfather died of it. My mother barely survived it. Several of her siblings have it and I'm still living with it. My doctors have talked to me about how seriously I need to take my family history. Because of our family history, and my relatively young age when my tumor developed, the doctors place my daughter in the category of those who need to screened regularly, even though she's much younger than the usual age when it's recommended.

Can't anyone see how much I had riding on this decision?! Can't everyone see? After all of my life-long struggles to get healthcare, because I've had "pre-existing conditions" my entire life, I was finally able to get Medicare. However, I only got it after several appeals and only because I was considered terminally ill. My daughter isn't sick enough to qualify for it. She's able to get Medicaid, because she's my dependent. However, she's 16 and will soon age out of her eligibility. So what are we to do then?

My partner is working towards a career where he'll be able to get health insurance and hopefully he'll be able to put her on it. However, being able to still get free community cancer screenings in the meanwhile will at least make it possible for us to know if she develops it. If the Supreme Court ruling had excluded any part of the health care act, then we'd be facing a hopeless situation.

My partner is only a little less disabled than I am. Please don't say what you're thinking. I already know. I've been told that I maybe should have partnered with someone who isn't disabled. Well, he wasn't disabled when I met him and even if he was, he's the only person who was willing to love me without reserve. My college sweetheart bailed when I got the lupus diagnosis.

But my current partner is able to work, it looks like his old employer is going to take him back. He worked for FedEx and that was how he wound up with a traumatic brain injury from a dog attack. They're looking for a position for him where he doesn't have to be a driver. FedEx has GREAT health insurance. I mean gold standard health insurance. If my daughter could get on his insurance, our problem would be basically solved. And it's almost within reach.

This ruling changes everything for us. EVERYTHING. The removal of the preexisting condition clause (and the Supreme Court upholding it) means that my daughter could get healthcare through an employer, when she grows up. Before this, she had no shot at ever getting health insurance--not with her family history and her own ADHD and Sickle Cell trait. We've never been able to get a company to insure her, because they could just refuse her.

Damn it! I'm so very angry that someone that I thought was truly an ally just chewed me out and belittled my struggles and couldn't even be happy for my kid for one damn morning. Just one damn morning.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

That *is* awful.

I hate insurance companies, too, and I'd very much have preferred single payer, but the ACA will make things better than they were. I'm glad they upheld it.

(I, too, would probably be ineligible for private insurance if it hadn't been upheld; I'm healthy as a horse, physically, but I'm diagnosed with one mental illness and one developmental disorder. The mental illness requires medication.)