Notes from a bitch…because justice demands it…

The health care reform process has been brutal.
For months I’ve joined activists and volunteers who have been working to make sure women are not left with less reproductive health care coverage after health care reform that we currently have.
For months I’ve watched anti-choice language work its way into the House version of the health care reform bill and then the Nelson compromise insert the likelihood of regional disparities in coverage and funding bans into the Senate version of the bill.
Then there was that Senate election last week in Massachusetts that threw health care reform into chaos.
Yeah, it’s been brutal as hell…but they call this shit a struggle for a reason.
I spent last week fighting a serious case of the legislative blahs, but today I’m refueling on the empowerment I find in the justice behind reproductive justice work.
I don’t just believe that all of us should have coverage for and access to the full range of reproductive health care services.
I know that all of us have the right to have coverage for and access to the full range of reproductive health care services.


Knowing that one true thing…that there is justice at the root of this movement and that the pursuit of justice through this movement is crucial to our success…knowing that truth is the foundation on which everything else is built.
And it is empowering…it’s like super food for the activist soul.
All of us have the right to have coverage for and access to the full range of reproductive health care services.
Not just rich people…or folks who happen to live in a certain state…or those who are able to gather up funds from supportive family and friends…or people with health care coverage through one of those big companies that gives real coverage to all employees even if they happen to work in one of the branch offices located in an unfortunate anti-choice state.
All of us…and that means transgender people, lesbian and bi-sexual and gay and queer people…people of color…disabled people…people who are blessed with multiple identities (wink)…women who are serving in the military and the women who have served…undocumented people…incarcerated people…sex workers and all the other people I failed to mention.
All of us.
Justice demands it.
All of us.
No legislation or reform can or will deny the truth of that.
All of us.
And when I think of the power of that truth I get so fired up that I want to shoot my fist up in the air and say it loud…
Health care is a right…it’s her right and his right and their right and my right.
A right, damn it!
For all of us.
We may not be able to predict the future of the current health care reform legislation…
…but I can guarantee that this struggle shall continue.
Because I know that justice demands it and no legislation or reform can deny the truth of that.
Pause…consider…continue.
So, the legislative process will just have to catch the hell up.
Blink.

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5 Comments

  1. kittycat
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Hell. Yes.

  2. LadySydney4
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for finally saying it!!!

  3. cattrack2
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    “Health care is a right…it’s her right and his right and their right and my right.”
    Who pays for this right? Does my uncle who works for a union have to pay more because he has a “Cadillac plan”? Does everyone pay toward it–even, say, students with no parents & only part-time jobs? Or do we just hike taxes a bunch for everyone? What kind of care comes with the right? Are we talking the kind of treatment Senators get, or the kind soldiers at Bethesda get? Does gov’t health care cover everything, or does it have the kind of notorious exemptions the VA is known for? My friends family moved from MI to TX and TX Medicaid wouldn’t pay for his son’s leukemia treatments & he died. Is that the kind of health care we’re going to get?
    I ask this because I started out the debate being strongly in favor of health care reform & now I’m very much on the fence about it. There are so many compromises in getting it done: Compromises with Big Pharma & the AMA & over abortion & over taxes. Unlike Free Speech health care reform is not free. In some ways its very costly.

  4. Gexx
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I think that health care is very costly in the US because it has been treated mostly as a capitalist institution for so many years. The cost of a medical education is through the roof so doctors and nurses need to make that money by being paid an increased amount
    However, if medical care were to be a government provided issue, it would behoove the gov’t to lessen the cost of creating doctors. Which I see translating to lessened visitation costs.
    It’s a long, convoluted system. But we need to start making changes now.

  5. davenj
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    But medical education is also an incredibly difficult process, fraught with increased work and higher opportunity costs. Medical professionals often sacrifice years of pay in other careers to go to school which, even if it were free, would still represent a significant opportunity cost.
    We can’t force society to have doctors. We can only offer incentives to convince folks that all that hard work is worth it. Some of those incentives are intangible (the social status of saying “I’m a doctor”), but the direct incentive is pay.
    People pay the opportunity cost of going through extensive schooling beyond the college level with the expectation of higher earning in the future that matches or surpasses the initial opportunity cost.
    Many state governments already offer grants to doctors to help pay their college loans if they practice in-state in order to deal with a lack of medical professionals.
    The cost of medical education is only a small part of the problem, because the real costs of medical education aren’t just monetary. There’s a heavy opportunity cost involved in going to school long beyond the normal age of graduation, and the chance that one may not even be good enough to do anything with that education.
    Also, your case need not involve the government provision of healthcare at all, just subsidies to medical professionals with some strings attached (taking on x amount of Medicaid patients, free clinic work, etc.).

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