The story I'm writing about today happened a month ago. For some reason, I have been hesitant to blog about what transpired on February 4th when my husband and I got in our car with the intention of attending a meeting with our U.S. House of Representative, Congressman Peter Roskam, of the Illinois 6th district. Mr. Roskam was in our town to speak about the Affordable Care Act and we wanted to hear what he had to say and try to let him know why we feel that repealing it without a sound replacement plan could really hurt us, and many people we care about.
This is my husband, Wynn. He is the father of our two children and a pediatrician. He has been in private practice for over 30 years and through the 90's and early 2000's, he also volunteered at a clinic that offered free and low cost health care to children that didn't otherwise have access to it. For over a decade, he served as the clinic's medical director. His dedication to taking care of underprivileged kids is one of the reasons I love him so much.
When Wynn and I drove to the Palatine Township Republican office, where Mr. Roskam was going to be speaking, there was a large crowd protesting across the parking lot from the office. The Palatine police were directing us away, but Wynn dropped me off near the office because I had recently had knee surgery. A police officer immediately told me to "get off the parking lot." When I told him I was going to the meeting, he said, "Only select Republicans are being allowed in. You can stand over there," pointing to a grassy hill, "but you can't be on the parking lot." Wynn drove off to park our car and was soon standing with me in a crowd that was shouting, "Talk-to-us!....Talk-to-us!"
A few days earlier, Peter Roskam had been scheduled to speak to a group of constituents about the ACA, but ducked out a back door, before speaking, when he heard there was a reporter in the crowd. He's our Congressman and it seemed as though he wasn't interested in hearing from us.
Wynn decided that, as a constituent, he was going to try to attend the open, (now closed), meeting. He was arrested for trespassing on private property as he walked toward the office's front door.
Here's what he would have told Mr. Roskam if he'd had the chance:
-The ACA has helped many of his patients get access to health care. Kids are getting well and preventive care, which keeps them healthier and saves health care dollars. More than 1 in 8 residents in our district receive health care through the ACA.
-Provisions in the ACA have helped our children and his wife, (me).
- Allowing children to stay on their parents' policies until age 26 is a provision both of our kids, and many other young adults we know, have benefited from.
- No pre-exisiting conditions clause in policies makes sense because, all of us, one day, will have a pre-exisiting condition.
- No lifetime caps - my oral chemotherapy, over the past 4 years, has cost a whopping $720,000, not to mention all of my CT scans, MRIs, etc. I am certain that if any cap is set, I will have already exceeded it and I will be screwed, royally.
Here's the link to the local newspaper article about Wynn's arrest:
"As for future political activism, Sheade said, "I think all good citizens should get out and voice their opinions and let the government know how they feel. That's what Democracy is all about.""
Although Wynn and I have always made it a point to be politically engaged, other than always voting and walking in the march to protest going into Iraq years ago, we've never been energized like we are now. Together we are fighting for the ACA because it's personal and we believe health care is a basic human right.
P.S.: This was the first time Wynn has ever been arrested - in his life. No wife wants to see her husband get cuffed and hauled away - but this wife can't think of a better reason to get arrested. You took one for the team, Wynn...for me and everyone else who needs the ACA. Thank you and I love you.