Action Wednesday: World AIDS Day, Health Care Activism
Posted December 2, 2009on:
Yesterday was World AIDS Day. I can’t believe how long we have been dealing with this disease. I remember the first time I heard about it was when I was a sophomore in college in 1986 (yes, I’m 42, let’s just move on, shall we?). The ignorance was so palpable at that time that the one ”out” gay man in our small school got a cautionary pamphlet in his mailbox, as if only he would be susceptible to the virus.
One of the ways I believe that progress towards social justice occurs is through a powerful artistic statement. For my age group, the AIDS quilt was that statement.
The sight of that vast carpet of squares stretching in front of the Washington Monument was heartbreaking and unforgettable, and truly brought home the scope of the crisis to so many of us.
Now, the AIDS epidemic has spread to Africa, where more than 20 million people are currently infected with the disease.
Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.4 million people are living with HIV in the region – around two thirds of the global total. In 2008 around 1.4 million people died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.9 million people became infected with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic more than 14 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.1
In the absence of massively expanded prevention, treatment and care efforts, it is expected that the AIDS death toll in sub-Saharan Africa will continue to rise. This means the impact of the AIDS epidemic on these societies will be felt most strongly in the course of the next ten years and beyond. Its social and economic consequences are already widely felt, not only in the health sector but also in education, industry, agriculture, transport, human resources and the economy in general. The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa threatens to devastate whole communities, rolling back decades of development progress.
There are many organizations which could use your $$$ if you have a few to spare. Here are some links for you to check out.
As we know, the health care disaster has been extremely difficult for those of us on the left side of the aisle. Many had supported the so-called “public option,” only to be disappointed and horrified by the way the House and Senate have implemented it. As HealthJustice, a formerly-Obama-supporting organization, put it,
Does Sanders’ S. 703 (or its state single payer cousin) have any legs? Probably not in the face of opposition from Obama. Opposition from Obama, you say?? Yes, I am afraid that Obama is not much better than McCain or any other Republican, and on health care, he is even to the right of some of the most ignorant tea-baggers. (MB Here: I hate that whole “tea-bagger” thing. It’s icky.)
So here is where HealthJustice stands: we do not like either bill in congress. We do not like the versions of the public option or of the health care legislation being proposed, or anything likely to replace them. We consider Obama to have betrayed those who voted from him. We support Medicare For All. Whether the current legislation does or does not pass does not matter. The health insurance industry will be coming down and will bring down this legislation with it. The more real power we can show now, by uniting, the more likely that Medicare For All will happen sooner rather than later.
Yes, let’s unite for single payer and against Stupak-Pitts and its evil twin in the Senate, shall we? Who knows, maybe we can make those corrupt schmucks in the Senate and House start over again and do it right this time! Here’s some stuff you can do.
This is an open thread.
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