March 04, 2017

This and that


The latest edition of the Front Porch program/podcast has a pretty random mix, ranging from sugary drinks to the transgender bathroom issue. However, listeners can benefit by my sage advice on the biblical hermeneutics of   dietary entomology and what happened in the 70s if you got caught smoking in the bathroom.

March 01, 2017

Dead or in jail

I spent a good chunk of Monday talking with women who were recovering from opioid addiction. This was part of an ongoing effort to interview people whose lives were touched by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Two of those women were particularly memorable. Both were parents who regained control of their lives thanks to medically assisted treatment they were able to access due to the the decision by then WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

One spoke of loved ones lost to overdoses, including a fiance who was like a father to her son. Another told of her experience with jail and probation. Thanks to treatment, both had been clean for several months, were holding down a job, paying taxes, maintaining a home, and caring for their children. Both were proud of being made assistant managers at their jobs.

Both said that "nobody wakes up one morning and decides to become an addict." Both were glad to finally be drug free and in control, for the first time in their adult lives.

When I asked how their lives would be different without the treatment the ACA supports, the answers were pretty stark: "Dead or in jail."

February 27, 2017

"They'd better start digging graves"

As I mentioned last week, a co-worker and I have been interviewing people who received coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Some of these got it at no cost through Medicaid expansion while others purchased it on the exchange. Some people were on oxygen, in wheelchairs, or both.

Again, the takeaway message was that even those who don't like some parts of the law or who have complaints about the cost agree on this: don't just take it away.

We had some intense conversations and lots of memorable moments, but one thing someone said stuck in my head: "If they get rid of it, they'd better start digging graves 'cause they're gonna be burying people."

Let's hope--and work hard to make sure--it won't come down to that.