Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Organizing For Action Called

It started as a blast email. OFA, the grassroots organizing spin off from President Obama's first election, wondered if I had an Obamacare story to share.  I sent them 3 sentences: I was shot 10' from Gabby Giffords.  I overspent my lifetime maximum insurance payouts  Without the ACA, I'd have been uninsured and uninsurable until I turned 65.

A please reply and register for a time email followed, but we were in D.C. for the weekend and I was having too much fun to respond to what looked like another boilerplate request. On Monday,, another email arrived.  This one included the phrase I want to bump your response up the line and offered me another attempt to schedule a conversation.  I was flattered.  I was intrigued.  I tried to sign up.

The link was broken.  Via email, I bitched a little and said that I could be reached any morning at 8am Arizona time (except Tuesday, which is reserved for the Pilates Diva) .... and that I was home for an hour if someone had the time right then.

70 minutes later, a voice on a speaker phone identified herself as a person who was delighted to find that I hadn't left home and who wondered if I had a few minutes to share my story.  She'd type as quickly as she could, getting down as many of my words as she could.  She'd put it together into a readable document and send it to me for corrections/editions/subtractions.  Then, OFA would use it as a blog post and on social media.... if I agreed.

Little Cuter and TBG have begged me to avoid being an outspoken face in the battle for sensible gun legislation, reminding me that there are angry, armed people on the other side of the issue.  But the only weaponry people on the other side of the health care debate have at their disposal are words... and I'm pretty good at using my words, too.

So, I put her on speaker phone (two can play at that game), opened my pineapple Chobani, and started to talk.  The robo-call, Christina-Taylor, our joy, the shock, the hospital.... it spilled all over my kitchen table.  I heard my amanuensis sigh and gasp and sigh again as she typed.  I told her that CTG's story belongs to her parents. I said that gun control and mental illness also were part of the story, but that I could make a case for Obamacare without those issues intruding.

She listened.  She agreed.  I directed her to The Burrow and the Getting Shot label.  She laughed when I said that I had to leave to play mah jongg.

She really heard my story.  Combining my spoken words with verbiage from The Burrow, she crafted a message tale.  My words flew back and forth between us.  She didn't object to my elisions.  I didn't object to her story line.  We were both pleased with the result.

As Congress sets about dismantling the lifeline which kept me in therapies and flu shots and mammograms it seems only fitting that we who received the benefits of the ACA should speak out in its defense.  As the tag-line of the piece says : I know I’m only walking now because of Obamacare.

This is the link to the entire blog post.  Feel free to share it on your own social media.
photo courtesy of JPetersenPhotography


  1. I had no idea it was that bad.

  2. I came across your "What I Know" post while visiting the OFA site. As a frequent reader of Ashleigh Burroughs, I wanted to let you know how terrifically well you have told your story there and made a great point for Obamacare! It isn't just about the premiums and making sure everyone has insurance, although those are certainly top priorities. Pre-existing conditions and making sure there are no caps are vital! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope they spread it widely!



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