Sunday, April 9, 2017

Reckoning Day

And this is a call to arms
This is a call to hands
This is a call to the voices and the minds
Of the people in every land

~~ “Reckoning Day” by The Rainmakers

Today we attended a town hall meeting focused on health care with our District 2 Representative, Jackie Walorski.

Except Jackie didn’t show.

We knew she wouldn’t. She was invited numerous times and not only didn’t she have the balls to show, she didn’t even have the balls to RSVP.

But we carried on without her. It was a moderated town hall, with a panel of folks who deal with health care issues in their jobs, and I was delighted to see my own doctor there! (She had a great moment, too...more about that later.)

The most compelling part of the meeting was the testimonials from various citizens—all constituents of Rep. Walorski—that told about their experiences with health care and how the Affordable Care Act helped them. A woman whose daughter is disabled; a woman who, at a very young age, was diagnosed with breast cancer; a molecular biologist who spoke about the importance of federally-funded medical research; a woman who had premature triplets; and our friend Cassie, who despite her fear of public speaking and an anxiety attack, stood up and told her story about her own risky pregnancy and the premature birth of her son. I am so proud of Cassie for having the courage to speak about this!

Every question is being sent to Rep. Walorski and if she has a shred of decency, she will read them. I hope the organizers send her the video, too, because she needs to see it. She needs to realize that she works for us. The fact that she refuses to listen to her constituents is unacceptable. The crowd was well-behaved but there was a palpable sense of anger that we feel we are not being heard.

As for my doctor, as if I didn’t love her enough already! She has been a wonderful doctor, responsive to my questions and encouraging in my efforts to stay healthy. Seeing her there as part of the panel let me know that she is on the side of her patients and not happy with the efforts to repeal the ACA. She had one of the coolest responses of the entire meeting, when one of the mediators read a question from the audience. The gist of it was that the Hyde Amendment is already in place to ensure that federal funds are not used for
abortions; the Republican party continues to push for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which means that thousands of Hoosiers from rural areas would have no access to basic medical care. Can anyone on the panel explain that thinking? The panel hemmed and hawed and looked at each other, and then my doctor pulled the microphone toward her and said…


The crowd erupted in applause and I elbowed Ken and said, “See why I love her??”

If I were Jackie Walorski, I’d be pretty darn scared about 2018. Ignore your constituents at your own risk.