A Right to Breathe

Everyone should be free to breathe. That’s something we can all agree on, right?

But for about a month in the spring and around three weeks in the fall, I can’t breathe. I have some serious grass and tree pollen allergies and when everything starts to bloom and the world looks beautiful, I stay inside as much as possible.  But even then, I can’t breathe. I’m in pretty good shape. I work out four to five times a week. I have a resting heart rate of just under 60 beats per minute. But today, I would not be able to climb the stairs to my office without two different inhalers and a steroid nasal spray.  All of which are very expensive. If I had to pay out-of-pocket, it would cost nearly $1000 a month for these medications.

If I were working a minimum wage job and had no insurance, I wouldn’t be able to pay for these medications…which would mean that I wouldn’t be able to go to work today…which would mean that, eventually, I would lose my job.  Then I would have to go on government assistance and maybe be fortunate enough to be eligible for Medicaid so that I could get the medicine I need in order to be able to breathe.

I do not have the solution to our country’s healthcare crisis, but I think that all of us should be working toward, advocating for and supporting a plan that allows everyone the right to breathe.

I’m going to pick up a refill on my nasal spray today, and I do not take lightly my privilege in being able to do so.

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