Monday, March 13, 2017

What's new is old......

Health care is a political football. It has always been a political football. The Trump team is fighting an old fight. At the heart of it, the whole discussion is about worth. Are human beings who are disadvantaged worth health care?  Are the elderly still useful? Does a lifetime of work and contributions to Social Security 'entitle' you to medical care during the time you are most likely to need it?  These are questions that will ultimately define our society. Are we a society that believes in the worth of human beings? Or is wealth the only measure of worth that we are willing to look at? I believe that the way that we answer this question will determine the survival of our country. What do you think? In my forays into opinion on social media, I read an interesting comment. One of my favorite singers, Bette Midler, commented that she thinks that the Republicans are trying to "cull the herd". In other words, those seen as not worthy should die quickly. Your pocketbook is the only evidence of your value.


I've spent a lifetime dealing with many seen as not being of value. Mentally ill human beings are flawed in society's view. While some mentally ill people do have some wealth, mental illness is an equal opportunity scourge, and many are poor. Those are the human beings seen as having no value. Many of my clients used social programs: SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps, and other programs that help people survive. I worked with a variety of human beings: Young, old, working, not working...mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and grandparents. I worked in a variety of settings, ranging from hospitals to programs providing people with case management in the community. I worked with people. Every one of them had worth. From the chronically and severely mentally ill  to those most likely to recover. I worked with addiction/alcoholism and many other mental illnesses.  I worked with those who were defined as criminal in our justice system. I worked with those dealing with Alzheimer's Disease. I worked with those who struggled with a disability. I was a job coach. Starting with Maxine, I learned. I was able to see past a condition and economics to their humanity. All of us should be able to do that. Unfortunately, we don't. That fact is where I current political stress comes from.


My blog is a platform. I'm more than willing to use it to advocate for human beings living with mental illness. My advocacy started with Maxine. It won't end until I die. Maxine, and others like her, have worth. I will continue to explore the relationship between stigma and violence.  I will explore the relationship between stigma and death. I believe, as a Jew, that it is incumbent upon me to do so. My relationship with God depends on it. I hope you will continue on the journey with me. Thank you for reading.......

Post a Comment