Monday, July 31, 2006

Why I didn't campaign for the Democrats over the Weekend

The Democrats are in it to win it come November. Over the weekend, the Dems marked the "100 days 'till the election" with a massive, nationwide canvassing and voter-registration drive. They called it the "Democratic Reunion." And I wan't there.

Don't get me wrong, the Democratic Reunion idea was fantastic!! I've been scouring the blogs for coverage and was not disappointed. The reception in NJ-3 was pretty good too. Unfortunately, I could not make it because I've been bed-rested (with my foot high in the air) for a whole week so the canvassing and door knocking bit is out of the question.

For those of you all who do not know, Last summer, I ruptured my achilles tendon. Since the surgery, there have been nothing but complications which I'll spare you here. One thing I will say is that the original incision to fix it has never healed. That's right: one year on, and I still have a wound that requires 2x daily dressing for the past year.

Two of the predicating factors to my injury are worth sharing as the election season heats up and the fight gets really intense: first of all, I was uninsured at the time of the injury. My treatment at Cooper Hospital was as a "Charity case" and the level of care was astonishingly poor. (the reason I know this is 'cuz I ruptured the other achilles in 2000 -- when i was insured to the max -- and was fixed up and bipedal again in no time. Fact is, this unfortunate coincidence allows me to judge first hand the differences of care I received in the two surgeries and subsequent follow up.)

Now if I could marry Greg -- my second point -- I would be on his insurance plan and this very well may have been a non issue. When the injury happened, Greg and I were in the process of getting domestic partner benefits through his work. He has a good gig downtown at Urban Outfitter's corporate headquarters where domestic partnership benefits are available, unfortunately (even in such progressive outfits like Greg's) gays are held to a different standard with regards to benefits and domestic partenrship, etc. There were 5 criteria we needed me meet to qualify and at this time of the Rupture, we had met 3. So we still had to make a "joint purchase of a major item" such as a house, a car, etc. The bar was set higher because I am not "married." I am not married because I can't.

So there I was, biding my time on the margins while getting my ducks in order. One bit of bad luck on the tennis court (and some lousy timing) quite literally turned my world upside down. I have been out of work for a year and this time underscores why I fight for what I fight for: marriage equality, insurance for all Americans. These things are not just abstract concepts we strive toward. they are real world issues facing millions of Americans, including this one.

All things considered, I am lucky. I have a stable relationship and a breadwinner. I also have access to a support network of friends and family, In short, I am a best case scenario for what happens when everything thatcould go wrong DOES.

Most others who are uninsured do not have these luxuries. WE FIGHT FOR PEOPLE ON THE MARGINS AND WE SHOULD BE VERY PROUD!

So when you're out there on a 100 degree day and slogging through the humidity to do something like knock on doors to fight for the Democrats, just remind yourself how much this all means. And then go fight some more.

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