I got the news that I lost a previous client.
Do you want to know why he died?
His health insurance termed.
He was an older gentleman with some cognitive deficits and a heroin addiction. A good and decent man with a family who loved him very much.
This good and decent man was in the system of oppression, which leads people to jails and institutions. The system which leads people to be dependent on powerful, privatized, and corporate organizations.
They put him on Vivitrol. It was a good thing for him. He couldn’t really grasp step work or other holistic modalities. He knew Vivitrol was what worked for him.
I tried to talk to him about step work and sober living, and he did what he could, but he just wanted to successfully complete treatment and get the Vivitrol shot.
I presented him with his completion T-shirt in our commencement ceremony. He was so proud. He had the kindest blue eyes. His sister came and picked him up to bring him home.
That was one month ago. He got the Vivitrol shot that Monday. He started seeing a counselor. He went to his sister’s wedding. He got a girlfriend.
This month he died.
He was supposed to get the shot again this Monday. They would not give it to him because his insurance termed and he could not pay for it.
This Thursday he died.
This Thursday he died because the system is broken.
And so his sister called me crying.
Wondering why his insurance termed.
It’s easy to look away when you are not on the firing lines.
It’s easy to look away when you don’t see the long waiting lists for treatment.
It’s easy to look away when you don’t get phone calls from sisters grappling for answers.
It’s easy to look away when you have insurance coverage.
It’s easy to look away when you don’t have significant barriers standing in the way of your right to life.
I can’t look away. And I won’t.
Health care rights for all.