It is January in Indiana and I have seed catalogs spread out all over the table…because that is what desperate people do in Winter, we look forward to Spring. Seed catalogs are a symbol of hope for me and I need all the hope I can get.
I had thought that we would take this year off from gardening. I had thought maybe I could travel to see family. I thought maybe a vacation would be nice. But the fates have conspired against me. So not only will we be gardening, we’re going to have to go big again.
The reasons are mainly economic — if the Congress overturns the ACA (Affordable Care Act), then our son will most likely be without insurance. I spent months searching for insurance when it began to look like the Republican Party might get control of Congress. Then I hit a period of frantically making phone calls when I thought that DJT might really become president. I knew that one of the big promises was to repeal and replace the ACA. The problem with the plan is . . . they don’t have a plan. “Let’s repeal it now and we’ll worry about replacing it later” is not a plan.
I had a someone tell me in November, “You’re getting your exercise jumping to conclusions.” She was convinced that I was worried for nothing. Everything is going to be fine. Right. So I’ve stayed quiet and stayed off Facebook because it hurt. I’ll be honest, it really hurt that she would belittle my feelings and my knowledge of the world with autism.
If anyone thinks that perhaps it isn’t all that bad, I invite you to contact insurance companies, tell them you are a 28 year old male with autism and ask what kind of plans are available to you. The answer 9 times out of 10 is “We don’t cover people with autism.” The 10th answer is a premium so high it would take half your family income each month.
I’ve spoken with other families that have declared their adult with autism as a legal dependent. They have confirmed that in the case of autism it will remove his right to make most decisions (medical, financial, marital) It’s expensive to do. It’s expensive to un-do. I’m laying it all out here: I do not want to ever say that I gave up on Michael’s potential to be independent. It’s breaking my heart to even consider this option. The alternative is simply to hope he never gets sick, never gets hurt. I’m actually much more comfortable with option 2.
Since Congress and the President-Elect don’t have a plan, I’ll have to come up with one:
1. I’m back to gardening plans and seed catalogs . . .
2. I continue to hope that common sense and compassion have a place in this new administration.
3. And I’m going to ask you all to do something you may not agree with, but I’m asking anyway. Congress is moving very quickly to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act). They have no plan in place to help those who depend on it to get insurance. I’m asking you to call your Senators and Representatives. Ask them to simply slow down. Ask them if they would want their children’s (or grandchildrens) medical care to dependent on Medicaid or to have to go without basic care. Tell them about Michael. Share your concern.
In Indiana you can call:
Senator Joe Donnelly (202)224-4814
Senator Todd Young (202)224-5623
What I’m reading: Clouds of Witness (by D Sayers). Essentialism (by G McKeown), seed catalogs.
What I’m listening to: Watership Down (by R Adams, audiobook), Aaptiv (iPhone fitness app that is rocking my world right now)
What I’m watching: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
What I’m smelling: Ayurveda Herb shampoo bar, soup bubbling in the crockpot
What I’m pondering: If I should learn to knit with multiple colors. I typically stick to a single color or perhaps 2, but I’ve never done anything elaborate with color. Advice? ,Also the logistics of making 3 foot tall raised beds.
In my house: Laundry in front of a fan, overcast skies, trees bending in the wind, the last of the Goldenrod stems falling into the grass around them.