I’m Dying Of ALS, And Watching Congress Debate Health Care This Week Gave Me Hope

By Ady Barkan: For More Info, Go Here…

I wanted to be in Washington this week at the first ever hearing on “Medicare for All” in Congress’ House Ways and Means Committee. Even if I couldn’t argue my case with my own voice, I would have liked to share my story using a synthetic voice, like I did a month ago in the Rules Committee hearing room, in the hope that my experience would compel members of Congress to fix our country’s broken health care system. After that, I would have wanted to rally outside the Capitol with my brothers and sisters in the progressive movement, hearing from people across the country who’ve experienced firsthand the same kind of injustices that I have, at the hands of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Instead, I was stuck at home.

ALS is no fun. Before it struck, I was a healthy, happy activist and lawyer living an amazing life with my wife and infant son. Now, I can’t do 95% of what I want to do, and getting on a flight to D.C. is a major undertaking that requires a small army of helpers. I wanted to be there, pushing back on the members of Congress who used the hearing to fearmonger and repeat the lie that Medicare for All is too expensive, too ambitious to afford. But I couldn’t, which is why I watched yesterday’s hearing from my home in Santa Barbara, California.

My time here is running out, and I can’t be part of everything I want to anymore. But until my last day, I’ll continue to make the case for a better, more fair, more humane society. I know it’s possible, and I believe momentum is on our side. We can win, but only if millions of people have the courage to shed our cynicism and engage directly in the fight for a better future. I invite you to be a part of it.

Leave a Reply