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Teach in last night
Mar 10, 2006 - posted by Liza of STAND,
Originally posted on picketline.blogspot.com,
the blog of U Miami faculty supporting striking campus
Last night we held a teach-in during President Shalala's
class (in an adjacent classroom). It was mostly attended
by workers, and they got to have a conversation with
two Miami-Dade health care policy professionals (with
the aid of some truly impressive simultaneous translation
by our own lovely Beni). The first thing the speakers
did was ask each worker to say the last time they'd
been to the hospital and what it had been for. We got
a litany of the same two responses over and over: "I
wasn't able to get treatment because I don't have insurance,"
or, "I was able to get treatment and I now owe
thousands of dollars." A single medical disaster
can saddle uninsured people with debts too large for
them to repay if they work until the day they die.
One woman in particular sticks in my mind - she said
she'd been worried about a painful lump in one of her
breasts for several months, and had gone to get a mammogram
but had been turned away because without insurance she
was unable to pay for it. I just thought - whoever's
idea it first was to sacrifice decent care of one's
employees for the sake of a slightly fatter profit margin
must not have had a mother, or any family for that matter.
How can you see a woman who could be on her way to a
life-threatening disease and cry, "free market"?
It seems to me like some more people need to think of
how they would feel if their mothers, their wives, their
sisters or daughters worked full time, worked two or
three jobs, and still were not able to get the medical
care they needed.
This is really ludicrous. Let's do something about
it. Hey - do it for your mom.