My name is Carol White. I’ve lived in Minneapolis since 1974. I retired from working in the public health field in 2013. I am lucky at my age to have a solid group of younger friends who get me off the couch and into the great outdoors to ski, hike, kayak, bike, and revel around campfires in the winter during pandemics and to celebrate ancient rituals.
I became a member of TakeAction Minnesota in late 2013 because I was eager to help get the word out on the new program to subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans who were uninsured or underinsured — the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). In my career as a public health worker, I heard the stories of people experiencing homelessness, low-income teens, and refugees and asylum seekers who were denied healthcare because corporate healthcare monopolies charged astronomical prices for the care they needed and deserved.
Obamacare is a lifeline for younger people – and the best option we’ve had in 100 years since people have been advocating for public healthcare. However, ultimately, I’m fighting for Medicare for All. That fight became even more personal when, a year after retirement, I was diagnosed on the same day with two kinds of cancer. That kind of diagnosis could have bankrupted me and my family, but thankfully, I could access the care I needed because I was on Medicare.
TakeAction has a long history organizing for access to quality health care. Our health care organizing team was particularly active in the fight for MinnesotaCare, despite our relatively advanced ages. My favorite actions were hitting the light rail stops in the winter of 2013-14 to talk to uninsured folks about how they could sign up and where they could go if they were having trouble getting into the very buggy MNSure website. Then we would table at sign-up events with trained Navigators and hear the stories of people who had just gotten affordable health insurance. I think of it now, as the Supreme Court shot down yet another attempt by GOP-led states to kill the law, despite a 6-3 conservative majority.
For nearly a decade now, the visionaries at TakeAction have propelled me off the couch to keep fighting for economic, racial, and gender justice. The work we do together – to expand healthcare access, preserve our climate and transform public safety – will make this world a better one for my kids and grandkids.