Freedom and Access to Healthcare

Discussions of social determinants of health center on social programs as if they are equally available to everyone. The truth is, access to healthcare and social services is based on a punitive model that intentionally limits availability. So that’s what I dive into in this episode – here are the resources I mention:

Highlights include:

3:42 – “’Pumping’ refers to a kind of underground plastic surgery. Pumping is often turned to when licensed medicine isn’t accessible — typically because of a combination of social, financial and discriminatory barriers in health care.” Source: For Trans Women Silicone Pumping Can Be a Blessing and a Curse

5:30 – “Being able to pass as cisgender can, in some cases, be a matter of life and death.” Source: For Trans Women Silicone Pumping Can Be a Blessing and a Curse

5:54 – “Society defines who is worthy of health care, who is worthy of culturally competent care, who is worthy of even having access to health insurance,” Ruby Corado says. “And if you conform to [those] standards … then your privilege is that you can go to a doctor and get treated.” Source: For Trans Women Silicone Pumping Can Be a Blessing and a Curse

6:15 – JM: “It’s just pure luck whether we fall into a group where we get access to care or not.”

7:20 – JM: “We decide that some people are worth more and some people aren’t. It’s not random – it’s based on one group saying they want all the goodies and leaving all the other groups to scramble.”

10:03 – JM: “These judgments are more about the people making them than about the people receiving them.”

10:10 – “A nonprofit organization was looking to give 20 African American single mothers living in public housing $1,000 each month for a year. They’d be able to use the money in any way they pleased. … For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to push families out of poverty by adding restrictions to government welfare programs. There were work mandates, time limits, benefit caps — rules aimed at pointing families toward what the government thinks are good choices. Now, there is increasing interest in trying out the reverse.” Source: $1,000 a Month, No Strings Attached

11:30 – JM: “Think about how you would like it if someone tried to tell you how to spend your money. Or tried to tell you whether you were worth having a place to live. Think about how punitive our entire social welfare approach is. It’s all about ‘Are you worthy?’ of whatever the benefit is – and the benefit is so meager.”

12:07 – JM: “Hierarchies want the top to flourish and everybody else not to.”

13:25 – ““At the end of six months, none of the women reported using an emergency lender. Nearly all said they had enough money to buy school supplies, when fewer than half had said that before. They reported cooking more balanced meals, visiting the doctor and attending church more often. … ‘The beauty of all of this has just been how folks are light,’ Nyandoro said. ‘They aren’t walking around with the heaviness of life that, unfortunately, so many times low-income folks have to carry.’” Source: $1,000 a Month, No Strings Attached

14:43 – JM: “What if every time we wanted to add restrictions, we considered removing them, instead?”

16:09 – UK Biobank Chief Executive Dr. Rory Collins says, “The idea is to democratize research so scientists who might struggle to get funding and other resources can also make important contributions, using this dataset.” Source: UK Biobank Requires Earth’s Geneticists to Cooperate, Not Compete

16:25 – “(UK Biobank Chief scientist Dr. Cathie Sudlow) expects collaboration, rather than traditional competition, will be what really drives medical science forward.” Source: UK Biobank Requires Earth’s Geneticists to Cooperate, Not Compete

18:28 – JM: “How much of our society would be able to flourish if we stopped the judgment and stopped the restrictions and said, ‘What if we just gave you what you needed?'”

20:30 – JM: “It’s about making sure that women never feel adequate. And the result is that there is a huge amount of emotional energy that, instead of going to something we want, winds up going to this impossible and unnecessary task of changing our physical form.”

21:15 – JM: “What if we just had freedom to be beautiful the way we are?”

21:54 – JM: “What if we shook off all this baggage that we have been given that says we’re not worthy of even the most basic things, like being considered attractive or having a place to live or having food or being worthy of being listened to.”

23:27 – JM: “There is a difference between setting a boundary on something that has happened and is not being respectful of the gift that you’re giving and just restricting everything so that you’re not even allowing the other person to have the life that they deserve.”

Leading with Health is the podcast where women dive into societal change through the lens of healthcare. Host Jennifer Michelle has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing. Jennifer is available to speak at conferences and also provides free marketing consultations. Contact her here.

by Noah Silliman on Unsplash