Just now on my way home from a meeting, I passed a young woman on the side of the road with two dogs. One was lying on the ground convulsing, the other standing protectively to the side. She was sobbing. I stopped the car and asked if I could help her. "No it's ok," she said. "My dad's coming." So I left and by the time I drove past the dog had stopped moving altogether. I don't know what had happened, except that the dog didn't appear to have been struck by a vehicle. Maybe the dog was old and already in ill health, or maybe he had a sudden seizure. In any case, it's a terrible thing to see someone cry while her animal suffers in a cold puddle in the street. As if I weren't sad enough about today, this filled me with sadness. And what an awful thing for her to experience. Maybe I should have stayed and tried to comfort her while we waited. Maybe that would have made her feel worse. I don't know. But it's already a gray, gloomy drizzly day, literally and metaphorically. I couldn't stomach listening to the entire inaugural speech of the newly installed POTUS, but I have heard clips on the news. He stands for authority more than rights. We have reason to be angry, we have reason to be terrified, and we have reason to protest. We'll be downtown in our home city tomorrow, the four of us, in the gloom and drizzle, marching for the rights and safety and democracy of all. Wearing pink hats and yelling in the street won't change anything, but it's still important as a gesture. We won't take this sitting down. No, sir.
What is happening to the ACA is horrifying. If the GOP wants to take health care away from people, they should be forced to go without it, too.
I called my senators this morning. I kept my message polite and to the point. If you care about preserving the Affordable Care Act, in particular the provisions for covering people with pre-existing conditions, I encourage you to do the same. In Wisconsin, our senators are Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who is fairly progressive, and Republican Ron Johnson, who is as conservative as they come.
Baldwin's Washington number is: (202) 224 - 5653
Johnson's Washington number is: (202) 224 - 5323
Keep it polite, and keep it true. In my message, said I was deeply concerned that without coverage people will actually die. I said I hope my senator has enough respect for life and dignity that he/she will do the right thing and preserve health coverage rather than take it away.
We took an 11-day road trip over the holidays (I was stressed about it, but it turned out really fun) so I'm still adjusting to being back and trying to catch up. I've missed the obligatory end-of-year/new-year post, so I'll just sum it up like this: 2016 obviously sucked big time in the news but wasn't a bad year for our little family. The best part was welcoming this little nugget. Enjoy a photo of her and her cousin Daniel from Thanksgiving:
Happy new year, my friends in Madtown and elsewhere. Stay strong.