Left Out in the Cold


Ok, forget what I said yesterday.  It is too cold to exercise outside today.  This was the thermometer at my house at 7:30 this morning.  I would hate to see what it said before then.  Facebook tells me that some of my friends a bit inland from me had negative 17degree readings this morning.  Although both C and I put on our snow pants for the 100-yard walk to Pre-K, we did not do a lot of playing on our way.  Yesterday, it took us 25 minutes from the time we left the house to the time we got to school.  Today….probably 3 minutes.  As I sit here, it is creeping up to 14 degrees.  Practically beach weather!  Maybe I will head to Scarborough to look for more sand dollars.

On second thought, I will sit at my desk in my warm house and think about the other kind of dollars.  You know, the kind that most people don’t have enough of.  I am worried, on these freezing cold mornings, about the people who can’t afford enough heating oil.  This is early in the season for this cold weather and the forecast from the Farmers Almanac does not look promising.

 I am extremely worried that the 70,000 Maine residents, who will be denied health coverage starting January 1, will have to go without live-saving drugs and food to keep their house tolerably warm.  These folks can’t even think about going to see a doctor for preventative care or screenings.  They will ignore the “twinge” in their chests, the radiating pain in their jaw and the exhaustion until it is too late.  Then, they will have a stroke, a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, or head to the ER for the most expensive health care possible. 

I live in Cumberland County.  In my county alone, 12,018 people would have access to the care they need *if* and only *if* our legislators vote to accept the federal funds already set aside to provide them with Medicaid.  Not only that, but during this deep freeze, 3,662 of the poorest of the poor will actually lose the coverage they already have.

So, as we complain about the temperature outside as we get in our cars and head to our warm workplaces and schools, think about your neighbors who aren’t so lucky.  They are cold and scared because just over 1/3 of the legislature and the Governor have decided to leave them out in the cold.

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