A Pagan Response to the Affordable Care Act


| 7/5/2012 10:00:50 AM


Tags: Paganism, Affordable Care Act, National Health Service, University of California, Starhawk.,
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Starhawk, committed global justice activist and organizer, is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path. Her latest is The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. She is a veteran of progressive movements, from anti-war to anti-nukes, is a highly influential voice in the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion, and has brought many innovative techniques of spirituality and magic to her political work. Her web site is www.starhawk.org. Starhawk was recognized as an Utne Reader Visionary in 1995.     

Editor's note: This post originally appeared at Dirt Worship, Starhawk's blog on earth-based spirituality, permaculture, magic, politics, activism, and Paganism.    


 

Jason Pitzi-Waters, of the Pagan Newswire Collective, asked a few of us to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Here’s mine:

A Pagan response—or rather, this Pagan’s response for there no universal agreement among Pagans on any issue–to the upholding of the Affordable Care Act has two aspects: is it good for us, individually and as a community, and is it in concert with our Pagan values.

While the Act is not as good for me, individually or many of us as a single-payer system would be, it is definitely an improvement over the callous and greed-ridden system we’ve got. Like many other Pagan writers and teachers, I’m self-employed and have been pretty much all my adult life. I’ve had health insurance since my mother brow-beat me into getting it in my twenties, with the same company. While I’m pretty healthy for my age, I’ve seen my premiums go up and up every year, to the point that they were costing me more than my mortgage, more than my food budget, more than anything else. Now, if I were being taxed for a single-payer system, when my income went down my payments would go down. But with private insurance, the price just keeps going up and up and up! When it finally reached over $1200 a month, I started looking for other options. I tried switching companies, but I’m now over sixty, overweight (not alone among Pagans in being so!) and with minor but irritating health problems that somehow drove my projected premiums up even higher! So I switched to a lower-cost plan that has a $6000 deductible. That would keep me from losing my house should I get a serious illness, and having lost five friends in the last five months, mostly to cancer, I can’t ignore that possibility. I’m still trying to save up the $6000 to have ready in the bank should I need it suddenly—because if I do get sick, I won’t be able to travel and teach which provides the bulk of my income.