The President is Trying to Kill Me

The President is Trying to Kill Me

The president is trying to kill me. 

I am not a political opponent in a third world dictatorship. I am not a domestic terrorist attempting wide-scale destruction. I am not an army general attempting a coup d'etat. I am not even an outspoken dissident, forced to live on the fringes of society for my political beliefs. No, I am none of those things. What I am, is an American citizen living in the year 2017. 

And I, along with millions of my peers, am being targeted for extermination.

But it is not a physical extermination that happens overnight. There are no massive roundups of people like me, taken in the middle of the night and forcefully relocated to isolated regions of the country. No, this extermination is much more subtle. It is done not with the barrel of a gun but with the ink of a pen. This ink is used to sign executive orders that directly target me and those close to me. Here I sit, squarely in the crosshairs of a man who keeps signing orders designed to provide me with an accelerated march toward death. There are millions of us whose lives will be cut short because of this man and the pen that he wields.  

The president wants to kill us because we are not like him. We were not born rich, silver spoon in hand. For that, we deserve death or, at the very least, less life than others. Because of how much money we were born with, we now struggle to pay the bills, chief among them health insurance. Before 2010, health insurance was a luxury that forty million of us could not afford. That number has now been halved, myself among that lucky group who was able to benefit from the new health care law during multiple transitions between jobs and careers. My price for pursuing the American Dream was to live in constant fear and anxiety in hoping that I wouldn't get sick during these transitions. For millions of my peers, they simply had never even had the luxury of having health insurance in the first place despite decades in the workforce, earning a living so that their children may one day have opportunities that were not possible for them.

Like millions of my peers, I do not have employer-based health insurance. It is the price I pay in doing the rewarding work that I do. But I am fortunate to be in a state that receives ACA subsidies for those who share my income level. Therefore, I was able to peruse prices offered by four private health insurance providers in my state before finding one that ultimately matched my budget. This past spring, a discolored mole was identified during my annual exam and I went to a local dermatologist for review. The mole was benign but had the potential to become worse if it was not removed. After removing it, I felt extreme gratitude for the ACA and the piece of mind it had given me. Without it, and with excessive health insurance private plans in my state, I honestly don't know if I would have been able to afford health insurance and, with that, I don't know if I would still have a potentially cancerous mole growing on my body today.

So yes, when I say the president is trying to kill us I am not being hyperbolic. He is trying to kill me and my peers who struggle to pay for private health insurance. I know I am one of the lucky ones who come from privilege and knows where and how to apply for health insurance during hard times. Many people do not have these resources. For many of them, the passage of the ACA was the first time in their lives they even considered health insurance. They could now feed their families and pay for health insurance with the same paycheck. Many of them now got the long-awaited medical treatment they had been putting off. Those with preexisting conditions were given a second chance. And children were allowed an opportunity to remain on their parents' health care plan as they, like myself, struggled to find their place in the world. 

This is personal. Yesterday's White House ceremony to remove the ACA subsidies directly targets people like me. My state is one of the 14 that had banked on the subsidies being paid so they now must deal with the reality that the state's now 3 private insurers may shrink down even further. With less marketplace competition comes less need to make health care plans affordable. With increased prices, many folks like me will again struggle to pay for both food and health insurance. When a choice like that presents itself, food for yourself and your family will take priority 10 out of 10 times. 

Remember this act. This is an act of war. Not against a foreign nation or adversary but an act of war against the American people. It is an act of war done out of spite, targeting society's most vulnerable for the sole reason of sticking it to the Black president. It is an act of war by a president and a political party who, for the last half-century, have openly trademarked the term "patriot" for their own political game. For the longest time, the war was subtle, done to chip away at rights and freedoms gained by those who were not White, rich, or straight enough to have political power. But now, today, this war is out in the open. This war is a fight not for ideology but for the actual lives of people like you and me.

For myself, I don't respond well to threats. I don't like it when those more powerful exert their control over others for the sole reason that they can. That gets my blood boiling and fires me up to fight back against these evil injustices. When I feel threatened, I will scratch, claw, and kick to protect myself and those close to me. Late last night, the president personally threatened my life and the life of millions of others through his actions. Now is the time to fight like hell like our lives depend on it. 

Because our lives literally depend on it. 



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Sunday self-care open thread - Eric Whitacre

Sunday self-care open thread - Eric Whitacre

And the people cry out "Who will save us?" And no one answers.

And the people cry out "Who will save us?" And no one answers.

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