Archive for the ‘Health care’ Category

The Hobby Lobby debacle, in other people’s words

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

 

I’ve written that health care discrimination is wrong.

I’ve written that we need a goddamn Equal Rights Amendment already.

I just can’t bring myself to write anything more, so the Official Radical Housewife™ reaction to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. will be brought to you by people and organizations with the ability to react while in the throes of a massive, never-ending headache.

I am grateful to them.

 

10376905_10152227823609639_8538660436798956372_n

 

download (3)

10440868_10152228440466872_4263648834650398362_n

 

HL-meme-9

 

images

 

10409370_933682629992144_4108578105078834700_n

 

 

 

 

 

Ten things I don’t want my insurance money to pay for

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

 

insurance

 

1. Your insulin

After all, it was your choice to eat a jelly donut every morning. Now it’s my choice not to stabilize your blood sugar.

2. Your statin drugs

See above. When you weren’t eating donuts, you were eating bacon! Sometimes you had both at one sitting! YOUR choice, not mine.

3. Your heart stents

See above, fatty! You shoulda been eating bran flakes.

4. Your kid’s stimulants

I think little Tommy’s just got an attitude problem. Discipline is what he needs, not money from my pocket.

5. Your mole removal

You got to go to the beach every year for spring break? Well, I had to go to a museum. Who’s pissed off now?

6. Your painkillers

I hear that street heroin is easily and cheaply available on the street. As a capitalist, I believe the free market is preferable to the artificial price controls of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Go chase that dragon on your own!

7. Your infertility treatments

God made you barren for a reason.

8. Your cesarean section

God gave you a stretchy vagina for a reason.

9. Your Viagra

God gave you a limp dick for a reason.

10. Your sad, pathetic life

Enough of this “civil society” crap. My money is MINE, and I want to spend it on plastic flowers, yarn and glitter glue at:

 

hobbylobby

 

FFI:

Twelve Myths in the Hobby Lobby Case, as Clarified by Jodi Jacobson

What Sandra Fluke Knows About Hobby Lobby: a Case Beyond “Religious Liberty”

The Hobby Lobby Case is About Spreading Lies About Contraception

Five Reasons Contraceptive Care Is Essential

Here’s What the Christian Right Hopes to Gain From the Hobby Lobby Case

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate food sensitivity

Friday, April 12th, 2013

 

If you’re a certain kind of hippy-dippy, über-crunchy, lefty pinko mom of particular socioeconomic status, you probably ingest (and perhaps most importantly, serve to your children) some kind of organic food product.

You don’t go the full Paltrow, of course, but you try, and you try because you care: about your family’s health, about Big Ag, about the environment, about everything.  This is why liberals are called bleeding hearts–we care.  We are sensitive not only to the lactose in cow’s milk, but also to the myriad injustices of the world.  We don’t just care, we ache, dammit!  We so want to do the Right Thing, especially at the breakfast table.

We also read Salon.com in large numbers.  I know I’m not the only mom who gagged on her chocolate soymilk & coffee yesterday morning when she read this headline from the site:  ORGANIC EDEN FOODS’ QUIET RIGHT WING AGENDA

!!!!

 

Irin Carmon writes that Eden Foods is on the list of companies suing the Obama Administration for the contraceptive coverage requirements in the Afforable Care Act–quite surprising for a biz that started as a hippy-dippy, über-crunchy co-op 45 years ago in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I mean, it’s no shocker that an Oklahoma-based craft supply store might raise a fuss such things, but would you ever imagine phrases like THESE:

  • “The Affordable Care Act…attacks and desecrates a foremost tenet of the Catholic Church”
  • “The Affordable Care Act’s contraception, abortion, and abortifacient mandate violates the rights of Plaintiffs”
  • “Plaintiff has never offered insurance which included coverage for contraception and abortifacients”
  • “Plaintiffs believe and teach that ‘any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or as a means’—including contraception, abortifacients, and abortion—is immoral and unnatural”

…coming from a hippy-dippy, über-crunchy organic foods company?!   That started in the late ’60s in a college town?  One imagines their original clientele had more problems with the immorality of deodorant than with non-procreative sex.

Just who does Eden Foods CEO Michael Potter think his customer base is?  Let me give him a hint.  It looks less like this:

 

 

…than this:

 

 

…and Gwyneth, for all of her annoying organic macrobiotic gluten-free GOOPiness, is a loud and proud supporter of Planned Parenthood.

Happily, I do not drink Edensoy in my coffee, preferring the creamy deliciousness of Silk Light Chocolate Soymilk every morning.  Instructed not to buy it from Whole Foods, I get it from the co-op we joined a year ago, or when I’m in a hurry, from my local Cub, which has a fully unionized workforce.  I CARE.

Just to be on the safe side, though, I thought I’d give Silk a Google to see what came up.

!!!!!!!

 

I guess I’ll be taking my (shade-grown, fair trade) coffee black from now on.

*sniff*

 

 

First we fix health care

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

….then we fix education.  Why?  THIS:

Yeah, indeed.  I learned this handy fact in ninth grade.  Why didn’t he??

Happy Affordable Care Act Day, everyone!

 

 

 

 

Diary of a mad birth control mom

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

One year ago, Skirt! magazine published an essay of mine entitled “Love in the Time of Contraception.”  In the piece, I laid bare (pun intended) many sordid details from my love life to make the point that there is no sexual blunder more embarrassing than ignorance….and that includes having to ask your boyfriend to retrieve a Today sponge gone rogue in your lady parts.

Rereading the essay, I find myself cringing once more at the stubborn persistence of America’s Puritanical values.  I wish my European forebears had thought to resettle in the British colony settled by criminals, not uptight prudes.  Fleeing famine and/or conscription leaves one with limited choices, I realize, but I have to believe that my great-great-greats would have preferred their descendants to spend Good Friday frolicking on sandy beach instead of heading out to show solidarity for a legal, but beleaguered and threatened, facility that performs legal procedures and dispenses legal medications.

This picture was taken on Good Friday seven years ago, not long before I gave birth to my daughter.  Yep, I’ve been involved in pro-choice activism for a long time, and I’m committed to it.  I’m a realist, and I know that the anti-choicers won’t go away.  I didn’t assume that one day I wouldn’t have to show up–I assumed that one day I’d be out in St. Paul with a pair of teenagers, demonstrating our support for safe, legal abortion, on demand and without apology.

But here we are in 2012, and I cannot believe I just might have to fight for their right to contraception!

Remember contraception?  The stuff that makes controversial procedures like abortions unnecessary? (Duhhh.)

Isn’t it our right as Americans to be embarrassed by slimy sponges?  To go soft at the crinkling sound of the condom wrapper?  To take a pill that makes you a hysterical, bloated mess, so on edge that no one wants to have sex with you anyway (or is that just me?)….?!

But it’s come to that.  And now, millions of moms who wouldn’t have dragged their kids to Planned Parenthood in the past are being jolted into action.

Of course, none other than reknowned slut (four wives) and prostitute (uses his big fucking mouth for money) Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe that there are such things as Birth Control Moms.  Sayeth he:

Isn’t that kind of contradictory? A birth control mom? How do you become a mom if you’re into birth control?

Well, duh.  You use condoms so you don’t become a 19-year-old parent with a boyfriend who is a manipulative asshole.  Or you use sponges AND condoms so you don’t become a 22-year-old parent with a boyfriend who is much nicer than the old one, but who still has a few mental health issues to clear up.  Et cetera.

Get the idea?  The clinic is called PLANNED Parenthood for a reason.  Parenting is a job too important to leave either to chance or to anyone too young to run for Congress.*

(Rush also said some not-very-nice things about a contraceptive fan named Sandra Fluke, but you know that already.)

Are YOU a pissed-off Birth Control Mom?  Are you looking to do more than spread Santorum jokes and bemoan our country’s flight back to the Bad Old Days?  Good Friday is April 6, right around the corner–there’s probably a family planning clinic in your neighborhood that could use your voice for reproductive freedom.  If you’re in the Twin Cities, please say hi to me at the event in St. Paul.  I’ll be accompanied by my two PLANNED children, and I’ll be saying this:

 

If your clinic isn’t planning a solidarity action, why not send them a bouquet of flowers (with your donation check, natch) to thank them for the fine work they’re doing?  Find a location at www.plannedparenthood.org.

 

*Dear younger readers: please don’t bother writing with the admonition that you are doing a better job than say, Bristol Palin, Snooki, or my own parental units, who spawned me at the tender age of 21.  I think we all can agree that it would be preferable for children to be raised by grownups who’ve been slutty, had their hearts broken a few times, visited New York City, etc. and have the acquired wisdom that such experience implies.

 

 

Pink’d

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Image: Drawn by Lian

I posted a blog in November that I called “The Awareness-Industrial Complex,” spurred in large part by my blistering rage against a world which lets us drown in cancer-support products, but not actual cancer cures.

Sure, the pink crap hawked by the Susan G. Komen Foundation at a Walk/Run/Crawl/Kvetch For the Cure™ makes people feel good, but here’s a newflash: maybe cancer shouldn’t make people feel good.  Cancer, to those whose lives are touched by it (like me), feels very, very bad.  Cancer, to those whose bodies are actually enduring it, feels more terrifying than anything imaginable.

What would a world in which cancer made people ANGRY look like?  For one thing, there would be none of this NFL players in pink shoes bullshit.

Don’t get me wrong–Tom looks cute in these shoes, but what he wears doesn’t do a damn thing for a suffering patient.  Not the way that a research program at Johns Hopkins would.

Honestly, the Komen vs. Planned Parenthood kerfuffle makes me happy.  I’m disappointed that PP is losing over half a million dollars of Komen grant money, of course, but I’m pleased that PP supporters have kicked in nearly $400,000 since Komen’s boner became public (pro-choicers are the nicest people).  Most importantly, however, the public is starting to question the motives of a foundation that has very deep ties to Republican lawmakers who oppose not only women’s health initiatives, but also the environmental regulation that could ….wait for it…. prevent cancer.  Worst of all, it has long been known that Komen’s founder, Nancy Brinker, is a great friend of pharmaceutical companies that depend upon cancer to make money.

Watching the Komen brand suffer is schadenfreude at its finest–but any amount of suffering they endure is a trip to Disneyland compared to the pain of a cancer patient, of her children, and of her family.

 

FFI:

Behind the Pink Curtain: Komen’s Political Agenda (DailyKos)

The Marketing of Breast Cancer (AlterNet)

Think Before You Pink  (a project of Breast Cancer Action)

 

Social justice is adorable

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Regular readers of this blog know that I believe universal health care to be an absolute, rock solid, no-compromise 21st Century Family Value–especially the health care coverage of children, for cryin’ out loud.  Any candidate who has espoused “family values” on the campaign trail while voting against expanding Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program is guilty of hypocrisy on a truly epic level (yes, I’m talking about Michele Bachmann, but you knew that).

Regular readers of this blog also know that I believe in encouraging kids themselves to participate in the political process.  I also believe that the kids in my family are unusually good-looking.  Happily, the ad below, for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, combines these two obsessions!

 

 

Would you look at that cutie??  It’s my gorgeous neice Hadley, whom you may recognize as the tiny brunette in a yellow raincoat in my blog banner.  The text of the print ad (which you should really try to see, in the Twin Cities mag of your choice, for this JPG does not do Hadley’s beauty justice) notes that “last year alone, Children’s provided more than $50 million worth of medical care that wasn’t covered by insurance.”

I see a great future for Hadley as a model for social justice campaigns.  Why, this very picture could be used to illustrate an appeal to contact your president about the disaster that is Plan B availability!  Picture Hadley’s grumpy face attached to this message: “Mr. Obama, are you seriously allowing public health policy to be guided by the Conference of Catholic Bishops instead of the SCIENTISTS at the Food & Drug Administration??”

OMFG. I love it.

PR folks may send requests for Hadley’s talents to theradicalhousewife at gmail dot com, and I’ll put you in touch with her momager.

 

What we don’t talk about when we talk about health care

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
I am going to repost the following blog that first appeared here in 2009, just as the “debate” (prolonged screaming match, really) about health care reform was really picking up speed. I think it’s worth rereading not only because today is the third anniversary of Liz’s death, but because there are still yahoos in this country who think socialized medicine is a bad idea. They voted in staggering numbers for leaders who want to repeal the teeny, tiny steps taken towards health care equality in this country, probably because they persist in the belief that terminal illness will never happen to them or anyone they love.
I recently had the pleasure of reading the new book Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir, written by fellow Carleton grad Sonya Huber, and interviewing her for an upcoming piece in Literary Mama. I can’t recommend the book enough. Sonya writes beautifully, and her tale of cobbling together coverage for herself, her husband, and her infant son through a series of soul-draining but morally noble non-profit jobs and graduate programs will be recognizable to anyone living on the fine line that separates the almighty middle class from ….well, everyone else. Sonya writes with humor and grace, but also with urgency, painfully aware that lives are on the line–and deaths are, too. Liz would have loved it.
Gone daddy gone
August 9, 2009

Not long ago, Matt commented on something he’d read in the newspaper: “It says here that heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country,” he said. “If that’s true, then why do we know so many people with cancer?”

Good question. I wondered if it was because of our demographics–as thirtysomethings, we tend to hang with folks whose cholesterol profiles have not yet caught up with them. We eat cheese and drink beer with abandon. “That still doesn’t explain all the cancer,” he grumped.

This weekend Matt is on the east coast visiting a good friend and cancer survivor. It is a trip I made several times myself, before my own east coast friend succumbed to the disease in late 2007. This week alone we experienced both of cancer’s schizophrenic extremes: a diagnosed family member received wonderful PET scan results, while an old friend from high school had a five hour operation to remove a tumor from her brain.

I’m at a breaking point. I AM QUITE LITERALLY SICK TO FUCKING DEATH OF ALL THIS CANCER. It doesn’t help that the national nightmare that is health care reform in this country has brought end-of-life care and medical rationing into the debate.

I keep having flashbacks to the one time I accompanied Liz on her chemo day, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. One tiny positive through her whole ordeal was the fact that her insurance picked up the tab for all of her treatments. Avastin alone, she gasped, would cost over a hundred grand to someone who didn’t have insurance. Liz had Avastin, and a seemingly endless string of chemo drugs in addition to radiation, several surgeries, and many long hospital stays.

Liz was 33 and a half years old at the time of her diagnosis. She died two years later. How much did those two years cost her insurers? I don’t know. What would it cost not to pay for them?

Take a guess. It’s been nearly two years since she died and I can’t type this without feeling the too-familiar panicky clutch in my chest, the stinging tears welling up in my eyes. I would do anything, anything, to have her back again.

I think about her a lot. At times I smile when I think of the venom she would spew at those who believe that a single-payer system would limit access to the treatments that kept her alive–she knew that these treatments were out of most people’s reach already! Liz knew that our health care system was a moral disgrace. She had no doubt that thousands of other people with colon cancer would love to sit in her chemo chair at Dana Farber, but couldn’t. She knew those people would die more quickly, less hopefully, and certainly a hell of a lot poorer than she would.

Of course, she never planned on dying at all. I last spoke to her on October 29, 2007, when she called from her hospital bed to wish me a happy 36th birthday. She sounded frail, both physically and mentally. I was too afraid to ask about this strange thing called “end-of life care”, and she never mentioned it. All I could tell her was that I loved her, and that would have to be enough. She died two weeks later.

What DON’T we talk about when we talk about health care? Death. Money. Economic class. Equality, or the lack thereof. Fear. Mortality. Losing the illusion of control that we all hold so dear.

I can’t think about “health care reform” and not think about all the fucking cancer. I can’t hear “end of life” and think that death is going to happen to someone else. Death is coming, and death is real. Death is in the future for you, for me, for my children, for President Obama, for Rush Limbaugh, for everyone who panics at the idea of a single payer system. Death is a certainty. No one can escape it. The existence of death ought to humble us and make us more respectful of life. After all, if a dying woman can muster the strength to give a shit about the uninsured, why can’t everyone else?

Contraception Confidential

Friday, February 19th, 2010

The following tip is brought to you by a delightful feminist I have known since Madonna’s Erotica album was considered a new release. That’s a long time, gang! I am fortunate that I have a non-hormonal birth control method that I adore (the vasectomy), so what follows is for my hetero sisters on the lookout for all the information and advice they can get:

I would post this myself but I’m worried that my mother will freak out. But please share with all your lady friends–this is information that every woman should be aware of!

Last week, I hit day 36 of my cycle with no sign of bleeding. 36 days is the longest I’ve ever gone, so I knew something was up. I took myself off The Patch last year because I didn’t like the hormonal side effects, but I haven’t come up with a method I do like.

I didn’t want to wait much longer to find out if I was pregnant or not, so I did some research. For the last few months, I’ve been taking Yogi Tea’s Women’s Moon Cycle during PMS, to counter cramps, etc. On the package, I noted that it says you should not take it if you are pregnant. The active ingredient is Dong Quai. I looked it up, and sure enough, Dong Quai taken in high enough doses will cause uterine contractions and aid the onset of menstruation. So on day 38, I bought a bottle at Whole Foods and started taking 1000 mg every 4 hours. After 2 days, I started bleeding! This will not work for people who are 6 weeks pregnant or more, but if you are very early, it will work.

I seriously felt like I was subverting the patriarchy when it was over. Why doesn’t everyone know about this? Pass it on!

Gone daddy gone

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Not long ago, Matt commented on something he’d read in the newspaper: “It says here that heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country,” he said. “If that’s true, then why do we know so many people with cancer?”

Good question. I wondered if it was because of our demographics–as thirtysomethings, we tend to hang with folks whose cholesterol profiles have not yet caught up with them. We eat cheese and drink beer with abandon. “That still doesn’t explain all the cancer,” he grumped.

This weekend Matt is on the east coast visiting a good friend and cancer survivor. It is a trip I made several times myself, before my own east coast friend succumbed to the disease in late 2007. This week alone we experienced both of cancer’s schizophrenic extremes: a diagnosed family member received wonderful PET scan results, while an old friend from high school had a five hour operation to remove a tumor from her brain.

I’m at a breaking point. I AM QUITE LITERALLY SICK TO FUCKING DEATH OF ALL THIS CANCER. It doesn’t help that the national nightmare that is health care reform in this country has brought end-of-life care and medical rationing into the debate.

I keep having flashbacks to the one time I accompanied Liz on her chemo day, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. One tiny positive through her whole ordeal was the fact that her insurance picked up the tab for all of her treatments. Avastin alone, she gasped, would cost over a hundred grand to someone who didn’t have insurance. Liz had Avastin, and a seemingly endless string of chemo drugs in addition to radiation, several surgeries, and many long hospital stays.

Liz was 33 and a half years old at the time of her diagnosis. She died two years later. How much did those two years cost her insurers? I don’t know. What would it cost not to pay for them?

Take a guess. It’s been nearly two years since she died and I can’t type this without feeling the too-familiar panicky clutch in my chest, the stinging tears welling up in my eyes. I would do anything, anything, to have her back again.

I think about her a lot. At times I smile when I think of the venom she would spew at those who believe that a single-payer system would limit access to the treatments that kept her alive–she knew that these treatments were out of most people’s reach already! Liz knew that our health care system was a moral disgrace. She had no doubt that thousands of other people with colon cancer would love to sit in her chemo chair at Dana Farber, but couldn’t. She knew those people would die more quickly, less hopefully, and certainly a hell of a lot poorer than she would.

Of course, she never planned on dying at all. I last spoke to her on October 29, 2007, when she called from her hospital bed to wish me a happy 36th birthday. She sounded frail, both physically and mentally. I was too afraid to ask about this strange thing called “end-of life care”, and she never mentioned it. All I could tell her was that I loved her, and that would have to be enough. She died two weeks later.

What DON’T we talk about when we talk about health care? Death. Money. Economic class. Equality, or the lack thereof. Fear. Mortality. Losing the illusion of control that we all hold so dear.

I can’t think about “health care reform” and not think about all the fucking cancer. I can’t hear “end of life” and think that death is going to happen to someone else. Death is coming, and death is real. Death is in the future for you, for me, for my children, for President Obama, for Rush Limbaugh, for everyone who panics at the idea of a single payer system. Death is a certainty. No one can escape it. The existence of death ought to humble us and make us more respectful of life. After all, if a dying woman can muster the strength to give a shit about the uninsured, why can’t everyone else?