My children, grandchildren, and two sisters from Kearney and Guide Rock marched alongside me. I marched because I want the ACA to continue as a law. Several years ago, I chose to further my education and pursue my degree in the nursing field. As with most farming households, our health insurance was through my work. We would lose it if I worked part-time, so we shopped around for private health insurance. We found that our options were extremely limited. Because my husband had a pre-existing condition of hypertension, our monthly insurance payment would be even higher than the $900 quotes per month we were receiving. Plus it was explained to us, the insurance would not cover any illness that can even remotely be associated with high blood pressure. A stroke or heart attack would not be covered, even though we would be paying top dollar for insurance $1,200. Basically the insurance companies were cherry-picking their clients. Even the Nebraska health insurance program promoted by the governor was over $1,000 a month AND had the pre-existing Health Clause that would not cover hypertension or its related illnesses. Our one saving grace was the children’s health insurance plan (the plan Hillary Clinton was instrumental in passing). Our three children were put on this plan. We took a chance and went forward with my education, all the while worrying about injuries or health problems that would have changed our lives financially and mentally forever. That concern almost kept me from advancing in my field!
Since 2003 I have been a registered nurse. I have seen countless people whose lives have been touched by illness, many that did not have health insurance. Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy. This, and my own experience drove me to become an application counselor for the ACA. I’ve signed up dozens of people to this insurance market. Many have told me it’s the first time they have had health insurance!
This program works. The misinformation about it, spread by inflammatory rhetoric, has been breathtaking!
Insurance companies and their CEOs aren’t going broke. And working people have access to Affordable Health Care through the ACA. This is only ONE reason out of MANY why I march, and my family and I will continue to march.
I marched for my granddaughters. I marched to feel like I could do something. I marched for human rights too. I marched for all those who are made to feel that they are less.
I marched for my disabled mother who raised three kids by herself. I marched for my fiancé, for all of her dreams and goals; the love I have for her being the biggest motivator. I marched for my sister; she prides herself in being able to live on her own and pay her own bills. I marched for the women I work with in my job and the women I work with in the various organizations and with the community; they often are more likely to volunteer and put in work for the sake of the people.
I marched for the women who couldn’t march. I marched for the women who raised me and influenced me. I marched for the women in my life who have always supported me.
Finally, I marched for me because there are as many women who rely on me as much as I rely on them. When their rights are taken or threatened, we’re the ones that will be next.
I marched because I am not OK with a president who was elected on a racist, misogynist, demagogic platform. I marched so I can tell my children and their friends that we did not silently watch as his disgusting, hurtful, hateful ways ascended. I marched because I believe all people are equal and those of us that have had a privileged life have an obligation to look out for our brothers and sisters.
I marched for my two sons (and I marched alongside my older son), so they know the strength of collective action and understand the importance of equal rights and protections for all people. I marched for my mother, whose reproductive health has been supported by Planned Parenthood and other organizations over several decades, and who taught me to stand up for what I believe. I marched for my sister, who serves in the armed services and faces sexism and harassment by men who are supposed to be her comrades. I marched for my students, to protest sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus, and to support their ongoing right to an open, equal, and scientifically-based education. I marched to show my support for family planning funding; for immigrants’ rights and protections; for full equality for LGBTQ individuals; for people of color who still face both subtle and overt forms of discrimination in many areas of their lives; for women who face discrimination in education, employment, reproductive health, breastfeeding, childrearing (or choosing not to have children at all), and even while walking down the street as they are subjected–as I myself have been–to harassment and fear of assault. I marched to support the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, to provide necessary health coverage for all individuals regardless of preexisting conditions, income, age, and other characteristics. I marched for reasonable gun control to keep our schools and public spaces safe, and because no child should be afraid to go to school or be distracted by the presence of guns in their schools. I marched because I love the State of Nebraska, I love my community, and I love my country. I marched because I believe in the promises made throughout our history of freedom, equality, justice, and protection from persecution and harm, and I believe our future can be more civil, more equal, more welcoming, more supportive, and more forward-looking than our present. I believe in the Nebraska state motto: “Equality before the law.” Let’s get to work achieving that equality.
I marched on January 21st, 2017 because while I accept the results of the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump did not win my vote or the popular vote of the nation. I marched with a neighbor, our 2 dogs, and found among the marchers a mother I work for who is currently pregnant and a small business owner, one of my young students with her mother and younger sister, and several co-workers, friends and colleagues. It was entirely peaceful and respectful of not only our Nebraska Union grounds but also the State Capitol. I marched because I object to President Trump’s intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Senate actions already taken to repeal its provisions. I marched for the rights of women to obtain safe and affordable reproductive care. I marched for the children with disabilities in a community program I direct who could lose their access to health care benefits. Most of all, I marched because it is my constitutional right to assemble and freely express myself peacefully and respectfully with my fellow Americans. I marched to be part of the largest political demonstration in the history of the United States. I thank the leaders and women who have gone before me that have afforded me that right. We the People.