One of my relatives got hand, foot, and mouth disease this summer. For those of you who aren't parents and aren't five yourself, it's a virus that gives you painful red sores on your, yes, you guessed it, hands, feet, and mouth. It's very common among kids. Not so common among adults.
He was pretty miserable — it hurt to walk and he could barely swallow. But he did what many people in America do. He called his nurse friend, learned it wasn't going to kill him, and he just lived with it. He didn't go to a doctor.
I have another relative who, when he gets healthcare on the very rare occasions he gets it, gets it from a doctor who charges his clients $75 to see them and everyone, this relative tells me, uses an assumed name. He assures me this is just because the doctor's clients are mostly here illegally. But, you know, I worry it's because he isn't really a doctor or something.
The fact that both of them will soon be able to see am honest-to-goodness doctor when they're ill fills me with such great relief, I can't even tell you.
I really wonder about folks who begrudge people that—the ability to see a real doctor when necessary. It's such a simple thing that's going to make a huge difference to so many people. And it blows my mind to see a whole political party throwing a temper tantrum to stop it.
It's hard for me to even be mad about it, because it's just so ludicrous. We know Americans aren't very healthy and we know it's because, in part, they don't get the medical attention they need. We talked about how Southern rural white women have seen a life expectancy drop the likes of which scientists haven't seen since WWII Russia.
And while the ACA might not be a perfect solution to what ails us, it's much, much, much better than the nothing so many of us have had until now.