So, we are in the midst of the longest government shutdown in history... over a wall.
In other words, the government has not been paying its employees for over a month now. Now I don't know about you, but I personally can't go a month without spending money. And while the government is shut down, is seems like access to healthcare is shutting down as well.
Besides the annoyingly long waits at the airport, and the horror stories of potential delays to tax returns, how is this government shutdown affecting the health of government employees? Ah, hadn't thought about that had you? Last time I checked, the U.S didn't switch to a universal healthcare system where everyone gets free care whenever they need it.
So what about the people with chronic diseases that require expensive medications and care management? I read of one woman with diabetes, who can't afford her medications now. Insulin in the U.S is currently over $200 a vial; and it really isn't a medication that you can ration! I read about another family that can't afford their children's asthma medications since the government has been shut down; you know, asthma medication, the one that keeps some people breathing... Did anyone else's chest just get a little tight... or is it just me?
And I'm sure these stories aren't rare ones.
Another issue is health insurance. During the shut down, eligible employees are not able to make changes to their plans, and those with insurance are still expected to pay vision and dental bills, despite not being paid.
At the risk of getting too political...we really have people in this country who could die, because a group of people "leading" this country want to use government funding to build a wall, instead of addressing other social issues... The U.S has a lot of issues, and personally, I think tighter boarder security between us and Mexico is a little lower on the list than a population that can't afford life saving healthcare... but that's just me.
People are being forced to work long hours under significant financial stress, and not receiving the money that is necessary to keep them healthy. I think by now, most of us know that stress plays a pretty big role in overall health. Stress has been linked high blood pressure, respiratory issues, changes in appetite, and many other conditions that require medical care. As if not knowing when your next pay check is coming isn't enough stress, government employees are now faced with the additional stress of maintaining their health, and the health of the loved ones on a budget of next to nothing.