Now’s Not the Time for Politics

Now’s Not the Time for Politics
I wore earrings that glowed and a skirt that looked like a silver Christmas tree ornament. “Wow, you never dress like that,” my husband said. “I like it.” I didn’t tell him it might be my last chance to dress like a rockstar. It was New Year's Eve. Earlier that day, a mammogram tech told me she knew where I could get "cheap chemo.” While my breast was being smashed, a shocking reality washed over me. Chemo? I must have cancer. The next morning, Obamacare kicked in, and the health insurance my family had all our adult lives was rendered invalid. It was a consequence of the new nationwide policy change, and we were swept up in its collateral damage. Over the next few weeks, while Gary and I scrambled to find lifesaving care, a few friends wanted to talk about politics, specifically about healthcare reform. I remember being on hold, listening to Muzak coming from my cellphone, our landline, and my husband’s cellphone. We covered our dining room table in scraps of paper with handwritten notes and phone numbers of people who ultimately weren’t able to help, and I felt powerless in a way I never have before or since. During that time, people couldn’t wait to share opinions. “We finally have universal care,” I heard over and over, even while I sat in a hospital gown waiting for test results. My situation offered the perfect platform for strangers to advance their positions, and I quickly learned that my best option was to say nothing. Sometimes, I had to clenc
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