T’was the evening on Friday…

Here are some quick poetic doodles inspired by the latest machinations of the GOP –

T’was the evening on Friday when down Senate’s floor
writhed a greedy-pants tax bill to take from the poor
The middle-class were tucked all quiet in their berths
while the GOP sycophants transformed them to serfs.

On debt! On corporate tax cuts! On breaks for the rich!
Health care insurance just got thrown in the ditch.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

During the night the middle-class
transformed into serfs in a fiefdom.
It was decreed by law passed
that we’re slaves ’til we die
while the richiest rich eat all of the ripe plums.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

While the rich get their face lifts
and tummies tucked, too,
the poor work an extra shift,
for basic health care for Baby Sue .
– Karen Molenaar Terrell



Insights from a Wheelchair-Bound Friend

Insights from a dear friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) about the proposed Republican health insurance “reform”:

Ok, here goes. I can’t stay silent. 

Do you have a family member with significant disabilities or are you disabled yourself?

The reason the ADAPT activists were removed is because Mitch McConnel ordered the police to remove them. The activists had been calmly and peacefully protesting the Medicaid destroyer (aka health bill). Why? Because the bill is written to cut 800 BILLION dollars from Medicaid. It also is written to drastically reduce Medicaid funding for home care.

For the disabled community this means three things: 
1. Under the current bill, those who need significant home health care will no longer be able to get it, because there will not be funding for it. This will force us into long term care hospitals and nursing homes to live out our days. These hospitals and nursing homes will be overcrowded and underfunded and basically totally miserable. It will reduce our quality of life drastically…and when you are this sick or this disabled, quality of life is hugely important. 
2. The cuts will leave the hospitals and nursing homes we will be forced to live in – basically in prison – so underfunded they won’t be able to afford proper care. 
3. Those well enough to live at home will not be able to afford medicine – the money won’t be there – or wheelchairs or medical supplies. The quality of supplies will go down – substandard wheelchairs that leave pressure sores, substandard walkers that tip and let you fall, etc.

If you think all of that is fine..
if you think we deserve that kind of treatment and lack of care …
if you think we deserve to be locked up to save you a damn few dollars… 
if you think we somehow earned this horrible treatment so that the rich can be richer…
then you might want to step back and re evaluate your life.

This is what the activists were protesting. You all were worried about death panels under Obama (that never happened) but this is ok with you? Bullshit. Don’t tell me you care about people. 
The activists had a right to protest. They were only there 30 minutes. They were arrested because McConnell didn’t want to hear their words. He didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want to look at the faces he is dooming to death or forced into prison. 
Here is a shocking fact: The activists didn’t resist arrest. The woman in the video was struggling with leg jerks, made worse by stress. Most severely disabled people completely understand this. It happens to a lot of us. She couldn’t control them. She warned them not to stand in front of her. They did. They grabbed her legs which caused her to slide down. Rather than be reasonable they forced her from her chair. It was inexcusable.

She started screaming when her legs were being grabbed because it pissed her off…as it should have.

A lot of the activists were held at the local station, in a federal building. A building, by the way, that was lacking a wheelchair accessible women’s restroom. The women were there for hours, many cathed who needed to empty bags, others needed the facilities. They had to be embarrassed and humiliated and forced to use the men’s room instead. If a black man was forced to use a different bathroom because of the color of his skin, the county would (hopefully) erupt. But 25 years after the ADA was passed, people with disabilities were denied equal rights and equal access. And it happens all. The. Time.

That is why we fight. We fight for our rights to live and love and be free and cared for. We fight for the right to live at home. And use a public bathroom. And be treated with decency by our lawmakers and our officers.

You see..I know the back story. These are my people, my community and MY LIFE on the line.

I will not shut up. I will not settle down. Because people like a lot of you on this thread have NO PROBLEM with me being forced from my home to live in a hospital an hour away.

We do have rights. We will fight for them. And while the cops had to follow McConnell’s orders and remove the protesters, they did it all wrong. There were bad lifts that left bruises and injuries. People on ventilators separated from caregivers and without a nurse to help them. And people removed from their mobility because the cops couldn’t see the difference between a health issue and “resisting”.

In case you were wondering, what I described about what will happen to us is accurate. That is what an 800 BILLION DOLLAR CUT TO MEDICAID looks like. Its not just people scamming the system being kicked off. We don’t spend 800 billion on scammers. Its poor people who get kicked off, who can’t afford their medication or their chemo or a wheelchair.

It’s sick people, who live on life support, who are forced to go live in a hospital.

It’s children…CHILDREN..who die because their parents can’t afford the hospital bill for CF complications, or chemo, or a life saving operation, or a nurse to help keep them alive at night. 
It’s people who rack up an astounding $500,000 hospital bill because they had to be in ICU for quite some time. 
It’s people (ME) who rack up $1,000,000 a year in medical bills. It doesn’t matter how many jobs my parents get…we would be bankrupt after 4 months. And Medicaid will only be able to pay a fraction of it.

Choices will have to be made…who to treat and who gets nothing because they are terminal anyway.

That is what 800 BILLION dollar cuts to Medicaid look like. 
You are really ok with that?”


And now a poem…
Democrat, Republican, poor, rich, and middle,
God-believers, non-believers, the big and the little,
gray/white/red/brown/yellow/black-haired, and old,
young, introvert, extrovert, scared, brave and bold,
northern, southern, western, eastern, female
and male, tall, short, and yes, even those with a tail
straight, LGBT, white-skinned, and dark-skinned –
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. And that’s the end.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell



The “Right Thing”

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” _ Micah 6:8

How do we know if we’re doing the “right thing”? Here’s what I think: I think we can trust we’re doing the right thing when we’re motivated by unselfish Love – when we’re motivated by the desire to help those in need, to stand alongside those who are oppressed, to seek after justice and mercy. Boom. Right there. What do you think? Will that work? 🙂

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

give us courage

This Is Murder

Do you know that there are people who will, literally, die if the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is repealed? Literally. Die. I know of at least one friend – a young person, beautiful, intelligent, amazing – who has been told by her medical team that if the ACA is repealed she has four options: 1) move to another state 2) move away from her home and family, and into a nursing home 3) pay for everything out-of-pocket – which would bankrupt her family (it would cost more than a million dollars a year) or 4) go into a hospice and wait to die. Basically, people like my friend – who want desperately to live – are being forced to face the fact that their political representatives don’t give a rip if they live or die, so long as their rich corporate buddies can make a profit.

The United States is the only industrialized nation that has for-profit health insurance. It is shameful. It is murder.

I myself rarely use the health care insurance that I’m enrolled in. But, as a member of a community, and as a responsible citizen, I have no problem contributing to a pot of money that will help others who find themselves in the same circumstances as my friend. There are ways we can provide for each other as a community that we can’t provide as single individuals. I can’t give my beautiful young friend the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year she needs to survive – but I can share my part of a collective health insurance pot with her, and I’m happy to do so.

“I am not willing to die to save society money.”

My friend, Nikki – a beautiful, amazing, talented woman who is a most perfect expression of Soul – sent me a really powerful message the other day. I think Nikki’s message needs to be shared with my readers. I believe it’s time for our society – our for-profit health insurance companies, our politicians,  and our citizens – to ask what is really valuable to us. Is money really more important to us than life itself? Here’s Nikki’s message –

“I was told today that people that are a drain on society should no longer be given any care/benefits and left to fend for themselves. The person then said “No matter the reason, it just should be that way, I’m tired of paying for other people when I barely have enough as it is” (Side note: Said person is single, living rent-free with a friend and makes 70,000 a year). I was told that people that drain society are the exact thing wrong with our country, and that if it weren’t for us, we wouldn’t have a government that is shut down.

“So here’s the deal: I am a financial drain on society. I get it. I do. Trust me, I do not WANT to be a drain on society in any way, shape or form. There is nothing I can do about it, however. The only other option is death, and I am not willing to die to save society money.

“My medical care costs upwards of 1 million a year. My private medical insurance (which comes with a hefty premium) covers 80% of that, and doesn’t cover all of home-health nursing. They cover 50% of my home-health nursing costs.

“That means, left over, is 250,000 give or take, plus another $75,000 for the rest of the home-health nursing. Add to that my other benefits which are: 30,000 for respite, 7,500 (give or take) for social security and $70,000 for my enrollment in a state-funded care program for adults on ventilators (which provides ventilator care and supplies).

“All told, that is an average of 430,000 a year my insurance doesn’t pay for. That’s WAY over double my parent’s income, by the way, which means without that 430,000 I would not be alive. So, I am sorry everyone has to pay a lot of money to keep me alive. I truly am. But I have no choice, other than death.

“I am a financial drain on society. If we’re not willing to take care of our most fragile (medically speaking, age, disability, or income) then what on Earth is wrong with us? Aren’t we supposed to take care of each other? That’s how it works.”