Before I was in politics, I was in care work. I was a nanny and doula. I took care of a sweet nine-month-old and supported people as they got abortions. While I cared for the baby, I also would do housework. Once, I moved a shoe shelf so I could sweep around it. When I raised my head back up, I knocked my head into the corner of a cabinet. It hurt, but I didn’t think much of it. I had a bump afterward and a dull headache. I continued with my day.
After work, I shared the day’s highlights with a friend of mine, mentioning how I had bumped my head. She took it seriously and encouraged me to go to the ER. I was hesitant. I didn’t grow up receiving regular medical care, had never entered an ER before, and navigating the healthcare system with very little knowledge seemed daunting. I trusted her and appreciated how serious she was taking it, so I went in.
I’m glad my friend encouraged me to go. It turned out that I had a serious concussion. While I was grateful that my friend pushed me to go and that I received compassionate, thoughtful care at the ER, my mind was running with questions. How much would this cost? I’d be missing work to rest, how much money would be cut from my paycheck?
I was lucky to still be on my parent’s insurance at the time, and had kind employers who allowed me to rest and took responsibility for my injury. They understood that their home was my workplace and paid for part of the ER bill. My experience as a nanny politicized me in many ways, and this particular experience regrounded me in the need for everyone to have free, accessible, and quality healthcare. I’m grateful to work at TakeAction Minnesota, an organization that has been fighting for healthcare accessibility and affordability since the very beginning.
Yesterday, the MinnesotaCare Public Option bill had its first hearing. Passing this bill would help more Minnesotans afford quality healthcare by expanding MNCare access, increasing affordability, and closing coverage gaps.
In Minnesota, we believe in caring for each other.
Across race, income, gender, and geography, we agree that the state needs to step up and help more Minnesotans access affordable, quality healthcare. Medical emergencies happen to everyone, and everybody deserves access to healthcare, no matter what. Nobody should have to sacrifice paying for rent or groceries to get the care they need.
The majority of Minnesotans had trouble affording healthcare in 2020, and many more are worried about healthcare affordability in the future. In a global pandemic, no one should have to worry about accessing the care they need.
That’s why TakeAction Minnesota is calling on Minnesota lawmakers to expand access to MinnesotaCare this session. We know we’re stronger together, so join us in calling on legislators to listen to the will of the people.
Here are four ways to take action right now:
- Email your legislators to ask them to support the MinnesotaCare Public Option.
- Share your healthcare experience with us. Your story has power.
- Raise your voice by tweeting and tagging your legislators on social media with the hashtags #ExpandMNCare, #MNleg, and #WeCare4Us.
- Spread the word by telling your friends about the MinnesotaCare Public Option bill and how important it is to Minnesotans across the state.
If you’re hungry to learn more about TakeAction Minnesota and our active campaigns, join us for our member meeting tomorrow at 6PM. You’ll be in community and get a chance to hear about how we’re taking action to ensure a world that is caring and just. Hope to see you there!