Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the healthcare debate is simple, really....

i've been doing a bunch of embroidery lately, and i FINALLY got around to framing and photographing them the other day. they all require some babbling on my part while being blogged, so i'll post them over the next few days.

here's the first one! (and yes, that IS one of the frames from my last post - i sized this piece to fit in them!)


i'm obviously being slightly facetious with this piece, since people die in every country. but at the same time, i'm really not, because people DON'T die here from things that could have been prevented if they'd been able to afford to seek medical attention.

i was lucky that i was away in the land of super slow dial up and no cable during the worst of the health care debate media coverage, because the little that i have seen literally blows me away and frustrates me to no end. i can't fathom AT ALL the people who are opposed to ensuring that everyone has the equal right to medical care. how can any moral person be opposed to basic health care?

i often say how much i love Portland. i do, i adore it. it has an amazing queer community, awesome politics, an incredible crafty culture, and some of my favourite people in the world live in Portland. i'd move there in seconds, but they don't have healthcare.

i'm not saying that all socialized medical systems are perfect, because they so obviously are not (though they aren't nearly as bad as the right wingers in the US are trying to say either! god, the lies being spread astound me!). but at least we have it, at least we have something to START WITH, to work with. how can you have healthcare reform, when you don't even have basic health care?

eight years ago last april, a friend of mine died. we were around the same age, 20ish, and went to the same church, unitarian universalist. i didn't know her very well because we'd just met at a conference the previous fall and then again at one in february, but i was really looking forward to getting to know her better. she was sweet and generous and made me feel incredibly welcome in situations where i was feeling a little too mainstream (only at UU events would i feel too mainstream!).

she lived with her grandmother, and they were very low income. she started to feel sick, but assumed it was just a bad cold. knowing that if she went to the ER, she'd end up with a huge bill that would take years to pay back, she decided not to bother, since it was just a cold. a few days later, she died of meningitis.

between the experience of my friend and my own experiences as a person with a chronic illness, i'm obviously coming at this from a very personal place. but i just don't GET IT. i cannot comprehend how a country can NOT have healthcare, how a country can have countless people who are going without basic care, countless people who are going bankrupt to try to get care for their loved one, countless people who are dying from things that CAN BE PREVENTED, how people accept that as reality.

so that's what this piece is in reaction to.



piddix said...


amy dame said...


Jennie said...

I am so thankful that my mum's parents decided to move their family from the US to Australia when she was a girl. Like you, I simply can't fathom how a government can let people die because their employment/financial status doesn't provide for them. And the lies they're coming out with about socialised health care!

Have to go breathe slowly for a bit.

amy dame said...

definitely! as much as we complain, we are so incredibly blessed. and really, a lot of what we complain about COULD be prevented if people would just vote logically!

the lies are definitely the most disturbing aspect of it all. it's so unbelievable that people actually believe them! that's why i'm thankful that i missed so much of the reporting - i needed slow breaths after each bit i saw as it was!

Anonymous said...

i lived in america for 30 years, and had no healthcare during much of my life over 18. i suffered for many years unable to get help for depression and paid thousands to see doctors and stay in hospitals. i've now lived in the uk for the past 6 years with the ability to go get help when i am ill, such as when i had tuberculosis last year. in the states, my hospital stay for tb alone would have been many thousands of dollars, meaning i would not have gone to the doctor and would now be dead. of course people who oppose socialised health only care about themselves so i guess they would have thought that my death was a good thing?
thanks amy for helping keep people aware through stitching! :D

Anonymous said...

The U.S. govt is corrupt...THAT'S how they let people go without medical care. They HAVE insurance, why worry about anyone else?

amy dame said...

thank you both!

i am so sorry for those who have struggled with health issues in the US. i see it quite a lot in fibro communities, though of course it affects people without fibro too! it is so heartbreaking.

i think politics in general leads to the corruption of most of the people in it, which is why it is so vitally important that we as global citizens vote and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. while i won't disagree that the US government is corrupt, i believe that ours is as well, especially with our current prime minister who seems to be determined to americanize canada as much as possible. healthcare is a guideline of a political party's true values - our healthcare here in BC has suffered drastic cuts in the years since our premier was elected.

kelly said...

Fantastic work and a great commentary.

I also like how Florida looks so flaccid. It adds a little special something to the piece. :)

Anonymous said...

This is not my favorite thing about my country. Socialist is a dirty word and people assume that we will become a welfare state if we do ANYTHING socialist. I also cringe every time Hollywood comes out with another completely inaccurate movie just to entertain people. What's the harm, it's just entertainment? *sigh* I am at a loss at what to do to help America out of this gutter of ignorance, disease and poverty. I just hope the values I instill in my kids will have some sort of affect.

lilacsigil said...

Great work, and I love the really thick border between the countries!

Just as a contrast to your friend's story (my sympathies, BTW), my brother also got bacterial meningitis, nine years ago. He had flu-like symptoms including terrible headache so his friends took him to hospital. He was diagnosed, isolated for five days and treated at a total cost of $0. Everyone he'd been in contact with also got free prophylactic antibiotics. He was just starting to get the telltale rash and another 12 hours of waiting could have killed him. The kind of treatment he received should be completely unremarkable, and it is, here in Australia.

Karin said...

I sympathize! As someone living in the most "socialist" country in the world (in the words of my American poli sci prof), I feel the same way when listening to the debate in the U.S... It's just impossible to understand, unless you get deep into the roots of U.S history I suppose. I love all the Sweden-bashing during the debates by the way, the Fox news people all like "do we really want our country to turn into SWEDEN??" - of course all the Swedes listen and go "Why not?"... :D Everyone gets a little brain washed by the country they grow up in! :)

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