I have been battling a new health crisis since my surgery was postponed June 15.

There is no way to adequately articulate--even as a writer--the breadth of hardship inflicted on sick Americans by the Trump presidency & Trump-led #GOP, like lame-duck @SpeakerRyan.
#healthcare
1/
The @CDCgov cites 133M as the number of chronically-ill Americans who have #cancer, like I do, or another illness that impedes their daily lives.

The majority of that 40% of the US population still have to work despite often disabling illness because we cannot afford not to.
2/
I've been writing about #healthcare in America since I was a cub reporter and put on a small story in the mid-80s that turned into a much bigger story: #AIDS.

When you're in your 20s writing about other 20somethings dying, it changes you.

Then I got #breastcancer at 26.
3/
Once you get #cancer you become a liability to the #healthcare industry. For decades before the #ACA I was living in a constant state of fear that I would lose my health insurance.

Trump has catapulted me--and millions of others--back there.

It's legit terrifying.
4/
#GOP--at Trump's urging--gutted the #ACA mandate in a backdoor repeal effort days before Christmas.

In January, health insurance companies went after sick people like me with a vengeance. My monthly premium at Blue Cross skyrocketed to $1,978.10.
Because I have #cancer.
5/
The Wife and I have the exact same plan. Hers costs $239 a month, mine now costs $1,978.10.

We are only a month apart in age, but she's perfectly healthy & I am sick.

Trump is doing this to people all over America. The Wife took out a loan to pay my #healthcare for 2018.
6/
What will we (and millions of others) do for 2019?
I have no idea. I can't think that far ahead.

The CBO--which is non-partisan--predicted 23M would lose their #healthcare by 2019 because of ballooning premiums that were unaffordable.

That seems a low number to me.
7/
This week, while empathetic Americans were focused on the travesty at our border, @SpeakerRyan--who is leaving in January--pushed through a bill cutting #SNAP that will force sick abd #disabled people and/or their caregivers who get food stamps into workfare programs.
8/
This war on sick Americans is ongoing.

@SpeakerRyan has announced his plans to cut back not just more provisions of the #ACA, but also #Medicaid #Medicare and #SocialSecurity. He already cut #CHIP.

It is not hyperbole to say this will kill people. Including children.
9/
I understand that there are many things to focus on right now & we have trouble keeping more than one story in the news cycle at a time in this political climate.

But the fact is, evisceration of #healthcare is happening under the radar and it WILL affect you & your family.
10/
I worry that if people don't prioritize #healthcare, before midterms--@SpeakerRyan's plan--we will lose our main protections like we lost #SNAP this week and it wasn't even a headline.

We on the left can and MUST focus on more than one thing at a time because the #GOP does.
11/
If my wife hadn't been willing & able to take on a THIRD teaching job in another state, if I hadn't been brave enough to be home alone & paralyzed for nearly 12hrs a day, I'd have lost my health insurance in January.
Why are we doing this to sick Americans & their families?
12/
The #GOP is depending on us being so horrified by #ZeroTolerance, which not one of them cares enough about to be willing to sign @SenFeinstein's bill, that we will miss all the other things they are doing.

As with their #SNAP bill this week which destroyed lives in one vote.
13/
We have to do better.
We have to be as good as the #GOP is at doing two things at once--and right now, as the #SNAP bill proved--we are not.

This worries me. Not just for myself, but for the other 133M sick Americans, the 81M #disabled Americans.

We are your family.
14/
Last week the UN said the US needs to prioritize poverty and Trump's policies are making people more poor.
@nikkihaley pushed back angrily,saying African nations are worse.

We are among the wealthiest countries in the world: Why do we have ANY poor people, let alone 1 in 6?
15/
#Healthcare remains the single most common reason for bankruptcy in America. More than half of all crowdfunding is now for medical bills.
But people struggle to get others to donate to them because there are so many.

We can't cede more ground to the #GOP--people will die.
16/
It's vital that we prioritize #healthcare--and #Medicaid & #Medicare. We are easily distracted by the latest horrors of the Trump presidency.

At the very moment we were meme-ing Melania's jacket, @SpeakerRyan was gathering the last votes for his #SNAP bill.

So, be vigilant.
17/
I can fight for myself.
I have a platform to fight for others.

But my poor black neighborhood is filled with sick poor people & sick poor kids who have neither the data nor energy to fight for services they need & deserve & they just lost #SNAP which they desperately need.
18/
So this weekend, make a list of what you'll do this coming week to help people Trump, @SpeakerRyan & @nikkihaley don't care about: millions of kids with #cancer & #asthma & other life-threatening illnesses & their families. Mothers caring for #disabled kids.

Please.💜🌿
19/

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More from @VABVOX

Oct 9, 2018
I don't think men really understand how different it is to be a woman out in the world and how quickly things can turn dangerous.
When I was living in New Orleans, I was walking home from work one night. It was fall--dark early & foggy.
A man came out of the fog toward me.
1/
He said hi, I said hi.
As he started to pass me, he asked me if I had the time.
I looked at my watch, looked up, he had a gun pointed at me.
He hit me so fast I wasn't able to steel myself.
I fell to the ground.
He said, "I could rape you right now, but I don't have time."
2/
He wanted my money.
I had the grocery money for the entire house (I lived with 3 other people) in my purse.
He took it and disappeared into the fog.
The whole thing was maybe ten minutes, start to finish.
I was shaking so hard I could hardly get up.
My head was bleeding.
3/
Read 20 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
The majority of the working class in America is women and POC.
And white men as a group haven't voted majority Democrat since 1964--they stopped after LBJ signed the the #VRA.
Flip the narrative and start listening to the ACTUAL working class--the rest of us.
Stop centering white men for everything.
Stop claiming only white men can save us from the damage white men did to us.
Women are the working class--my investigation here:

damemagazine.com/2018/04/12/wom…
.@matthewstoller is very worried about white men, but it's really women of all races who are facing the worst effects of economic and social stresses.
My investigation here:
damemagazine.com/2018/05/10/why…
Read 5 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
The relentlessness of passing over superb women with strong credentials & election histories in favor of whatever man is a headline at a moment is exhausting.

Two months ago it was Avenatti. Now it's O'Rourke.

Bypassing the majority of Americans--women--is a national disgrace.
O'Rourke is fine. He is not, Harris, Gillibrand or Klobuchar.

▪Gillibrand is Congress' leader on women's rights & sexual assault victims.
▪Harris set NN2018 on fire with her speeches reclaiming identity politics.
▪ Klobuchar highlighted #Kavanaugh's unfitness for SCOTUS.
Americans MUST stop looking past women to find some man, any man to supplant them.

It took THIRTY YEARS of incredibly hard work for @HillaryClinton to get to run for POTUS. The rules for women are so different. No one sees a woman give a single speech and says "president!"
Read 16 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
I lived in NOLA right after college.
I drank most every day, as did everyone I knew.
We were all in the domestic Peace Corps, all in our early 20s, all hardworking activists with stressful work.
We drank too much at Mardi Gras, New Year's.
It's absurd to claim #Kavanaugh didn't.
Those of us who've had alcoholics in our lives--like Klobuchar--tend to be careful about alcohol because we've been damaged by the drunks in our lives. I'm a control freak, so never liked being drunk, but lots of my friends did. What IS true, is most 20somethings drink to excess.
This new tack from the #GOP to dismiss #Kavanaugh's alcoholic drinking--& I am not saying he was/is an alcoholic, but he certainly drank like one--is just wrong. It undermines their own credibility and ignores reality: statistically the vast majority of teens/20s get drunk OFTEN.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Let's talk about sex, #Kavanaugh & Venn diagram overlap of male entitlement.

I've written a lot about sex in various contexts. In the late 80s/early 90s I also gave safe sex workshops back when folks my age were dying 24/7 from #AIDS. My 1st book was on juvenile prostitution.
1/
Most of us know consensual and non-consensual sex differ. The entirety of #Kavanaugh's defense and his defenders' outrage is predicated on the presumption that no teenaged boy knows what consent is.

THEY. KNOW.

Some, like their adult counterparts, don't care.

This is key.
2/
Since #MeToo we've seen egregious serial rapists like #BillCosby and #HarveyWeinstein exposed & attempts made to prosecute them.

But there are "lesser" sexual assaults we've given a lighter hand to: Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Louis CK--too many to list.
3/
Read 28 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
I gotta tell you, folks, I have been so sick for the past 2wks, I have really been scared.

Sept 22 House GOP passed their new cuts to Social Security Medicaid and Medicare out of committee. $1.2T in cuts.

That's the safety net.

I've always hoped I could fall there. No more.
I had to call my bestie today to have her come up and stay with me while The Wife is teaching.

Even with the oxygen, hard to breathe.

I had to cancel interviews for tomorrow, a radio appearance for Friday.

Chronic illness like #cancer is incapacitating at times.
We need to do better for sick and #disabled Americans.

It is so hard to work and be sick.

Never getting better sick.
Read 4 tweets

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