Victoria Brownworth Profile picture
Feb 7, 2018 19 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I had another life-threatening heart/lung episode today.
I'm not sure how much of it had to do with my cutting my heart meds back to once a day while appealing the increased price by my health insurance from $120 for 60 pills to $1k for 60 pills.
We had to call 9/11.
I couldn't afford to go to the hospital--when you call 9/11 the city charges you $1,200 for the trip to nearest hospital.
They only accept cash.
The EMTs checked me out, told me to take the heart meds the way they were prescribed, established I wasn't in VFib, just SVT AFib.
So all day, instead of doing work that needs to be done, I have been trying to get my heart rate under 140, which given my lung meds increase my heart rate, has been more work: breathing exercises my PT taught me, single nostril breathing @HillaryClinton taught me (try it).
I stayed away from politics, from Twitter, from email. I read a book, listened to classical music--all the things we are supposed to do to make our lives calmer.

All over America this is happening. Millions of people are making decisions about their medications based on $$$.
There are millions of Americans with #cancer, chronic illness,#disability like me who are forced to do this every day.

I've met many chronically ill & #disabled people on here.
@DisVisibility, created by Alice Wong (@SFDirewolf) & others made space for us with #CripTheVote.
Generally incurable and ongoing, chronic diseases affect approximately 133M Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country. That number is projected to grow to an estimated 157M, with 81M (like me) having multiple conditions.
40% of Americans are dealing with chronic, incurable illness/#disability.
This will tell you more about this if you are fortunate enough to not be one of us.
If you are #disabled or chronically ill, you are more likely to be poor, under-employed or unemployed, making these decisions about paying for rx's and other care more likely.

If you're chronically ill and employed, you're most likely to be self-employed--which is expensive.
2017 unemployment rate for persons with a disability (PWD), at 10.5%, was unchanged from 2016. The rate for those without a disability declined to 4.6%. Employed PWDs were more likely to be self-employed than those with no #disability. #CripTheVote…
#GOP has been trying to repeal #ACA since its inception in 2010, even as most other Western nations have some version of #UHC. On Monday, Brits marched to save the #NHS, which keeps them from going bankrupt like Americans do.

US needs #ACA fully funded until we have #UHC.
#Medicaid and #Medicare and #SSDI are supposed to pick up the slack for #disabled and chronically ill Americans.

They do not.

Yet even though these each help a percentage of sick and disabled Americans, #GOP wants to cut all three.

It's going to get worse for the 40% of Americans who live with chronic illness and/or #disability.
The Impending Destruction Of #Medicaid By #GOPTaxCutBill: Cruel And Un-American…
The long-term impact of treating PWDs and/or chronic illness differently--even though we are 40% of the population--is traumatizing, especially for young people.

Young Adults With Autism More Likely To Be Unemployed, Isolated
Ignoring the impact of chronic illness will be disastrous for the country and the economy.
And--as was the case for me today--people are at risk of dying.

We are the largest minority in America: 40%.

The Growing Crisis of Chronic Disease in America…
Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and #disability in the US. Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, #cancer, #diabetes, #asthma, #arthritis—are among the most common and costly of all health problems.…
So--that's my day.

Heart crisis brought on by cutting back my medication because of cost.
Afraid to call for help because of the cost of a 911 ride to hospital.
A story being played out all across America.

Remember: 133M Americans are facing what I did every day.
Maybe you.
POSTSCRIPT: While I was writing this thread, I got an email via the portal from the nurse at my cardiologist's practice.

The appeal my doctor put through for my rx--the one I've been on since my 20s for a congenital AFib--has gone through. I can get the rx by Wednesday.
This is great news for me--it will still be $150, but it won't be $1k.
But what about all the other people who don't know they can file an appeal or whose doctors haven't known them for years and aren't willing or don't have time to take hours to do this for one patient?
This is going to happen more and more.

Someone, somewhere, will die.
If you think this isn't political, you would be wrong.

If you didn't vote for the woman who had been working for #UHC for Americans since the 1970s, at LEAST vote to #FlipTheHouse for 133M of us.

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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.
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."
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.
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:…
.@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:…
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.
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.


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

This is key.
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.
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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