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The usual Jeremiads won't suffice - if you knew him, you knew his personality filled up a lot more space than his unreasonably gigantic frame. But if you didn't, you just don't know what an injustice it is that he died.

And to think, it was a treatable condition, that he couldn't afford to take care of because he had no health insurance. If you're against public health insurance, let me take this occasion to say FUCK YOU royally. My friend would be alive, if he had an option. We're all diminished by his loss - far more than we were enriched by his presence, because his absence can only ever be felt all the more keenly for how much more fun things would be with him around.

This nation needs universal health care, and Taylor Christian. It is too late for for latter, but somewhere there's another Taylor that can be helped. Write to your Congressperson and insist that universal health care should be high on our list of priorities. England managed it even while reconstructing after the blitz - surely we can too.

I won't say any more, it's all been said. But I will do more, and it will be because of Taylor.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for saying what I don't always have the courage to say.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about your friend.

As far as universal health care goes, I was totally against it for the longest time, just on basic free-will capitalist principles. Then I had to get an adrenaline injection for a bad allergic reaction to an antibiotic, and I dunno, OD'd or something-- because I had a heart attack. A five hour long heart attack. I sat in the emergency room for four an a half hours with agonizing chest pains that I didn't know were possible. They finally got me into a room, but no doctor ever showed up, and eventually the reaction subsided and I just left without ever having seen anyone (other than the triage nurse who'd hooked me up to the EKG and was very sympathetic, and overly apologetic that she couldn't do anything for me). I saw a guy with either a gunshot wound or a knife wound, lying on a stretcher in the hall; so when I complained the next day about how awful the hospital was, it was not just on my own behalf, but that of the guy who was BLEEDING TO DEATH without anyone with the time to tend his wound(s).

So then, my friend Alistair (who is an atypical Berkeley hippie in that he is socialist for entirely pragmatic reasons) pointed out that the reason emergency rooms are so terrible is that people without health insurance don't go to the doctor for regular check-ups or to complain about early symptoms; they go to the emergency room when they're dying. Which causes a big backlog at your friendly local ER. So people who pay for their own health insurance and say "it is unconstitutional to force me to pay for someone else's health insurance" have to sit for five hours in a waiting room while their hearts are doing cartwheels in their chest, too depressed to complain on one's own behalf because of the guy who's bleeding to death ten feet away.

Though fixing the healthcare system in this country is going to take a lot more than just providing coverage for everyone. Something needs to be done about the malpractice insurance scam that's fucking over the medical industry. The cost of malpractice insurance is responsible for the vast majority of the increase in healthcare costs of the last 20 years.

Edited at 2009-01-07 03:51 am (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
Universal health-care would do a huge amount to relieve the burden on emergency rooms. What's more, it would just make life better for millions of people.

We CAN do it, and we SHOULD do it. We don't have to give up on capitalism, either - competition can come in the form of suppliers to the UHC system. We CAN do it. We ought to.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, universal health care has tangible benefit to everyone, not just the currently uninsured. I just hope our government can implement it without fucking things up royally :/
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about your friend. What is the more that you will do?
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
I am already politically active, but I've been lax about being vocal locally, since California so reliably goes Democrat. No more. At this moment in time I don't *precisely* what the right or most effective course of action is, but I'll certainly find out.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Well, please keep us posted. Perhaps you will give others good ideas of how they can help, too.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
I will.
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
yes, please do.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Seconded. Taylor's death affected me more than I thought it would - I'm having the hardest time picturing him being his normal gregarious and larger than life self, and then reconciling it with the fact he's gone. He could have been saved, but because Big Pharma likes to line their pockets, he wasn't. Other than writing congresspeople, let me know if you become aware of any other avenues for activism.
Jan. 7th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
I"m not sure it's Big Pharma that opposes universal healthcare. Private insurance and your friendly neighborhood Religious Right are more to blame.

Because you know, Jesus would have HATED all of his children having equal access to healthcare.
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Taylor couldn't afford the medicine that would have saved him. Big Pharma likes to keep prices for drugs high, because they know that insurance will cover it for most people. And those without insurance are S.O.L. There's no good reason for drugs to be as expensive as they are.
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
I don't know if it's medication or a procedure he needed - I just know it was some sort of insurance he needed. The same companies that make drugs here sell them in Canada, England, Sweden, Norway, and many other countries that have universal health care.
Jan. 7th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Taylor deserved more, as does everyone who is unable to pay for their own healthcare. I've visited many countries that have "socialist" healthcare programs, fully subsidized by the state healthcare (in other words) and I've been a supporter of it for years... if only the U.S. government can do it without making it as inefficient and ineffective as most other government-subsidized programs.

What is the point of having a country if the members of the country are allowed to die of simple illnesses? It's like anti-democracy.
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
i'm so sorry about your friend. that's a truly terrible thing.

it's given me hope to think that the project i've been working on might actually change situations like that. the stories i've read from people they've interviewed are absolutely heartbreaking, and have been similar to your friend's situation. this country's approach to health care is an absolute travesty.

the project i've been managing is primarily concerned with entering names and addresses of nearly a million people who are pleding to vote for universal health care. our client now has something like a thousand mailbags on the way that they will fill with all the pledge cards people sent, and then dump them on the capitol steps. if i can find out when that's supposed to happen, i'll let you know. they're a large lobbying organization and are seriously pushing for change in this direction. there is some hope there.

i agree with arya that it will take more than that to fix the system, but damn it'd be a good start.
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Thanks, Emily.
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
My condolences, truly.
Jan. 7th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
All day I've been thinking of his voice.

That big, loud and full bartone of his that filled any space. It was deep and dark and sweetly rich. It arrived before he entered a space and lingered after he left.

And silenced.

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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