THANKFUL FRIDAY

I have been very fortunate to work in an industry that values health care for their employees. I pay very little a month for really good health care that covers just about every thing. I had all of this even before the affordable care act was put into place. Then my birth control pills went from $10 a month to free. The Affordable Care Act just made it possible for millions of Americans to have access to affordable health care, some of those for the first time ever. We don't really know what is going to happen to the Affordable Care Act once Trump takes office. The only policy talk I ever heard from him was how he was going to repeal Obamacare. He may decide to keep some things like pre-existing conditions and the child care part, but it could still mean the millions of people will be losing their health care. 

Many of us are feeling helpless right now, but John Oliver on 'Last Week Tonight' reminded us that there are still things that we can do. He provided a list of places that would greatly appreciate your donations to help fight for better environmental laws, women's reproductive rights, refugee assistance, legal assistance for protecting minorities' civil rights, resources and suicide prevention for LGBT, and legal and education assistance for Hispanics. I set up a monthly donation for Planned Parenthood. I think there are a large number of people out there who think "ABORTION!" whenever they hear the words Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has been providing quality affordable healthcare for one hundred years. They mostly supply preventative, primary care that prevents unintended pregnancies, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and tests for cervical and other forms of cancer. It was estimated in 2014 that there were about 44,000 new cases of HIV diagnosed in the US. This number was down 19% from those numbers in 2005. I still think there should be no new cases diagnosed ever, but thanks to places like Planned Parenthood who provide education, testing and prevention, those numbers are decreasing. 

I know what it is like to not be able to afford health care. Chris and I were poor in graduate school (and after) and we both new that an accidental pregnancy would mean that we would only be poorer and less likely to finish our education. I relied on Planned Parenthood for my yearly women's health exam and for a supply of birth control. There were times I was even there for sinus infections. I am very grateful for the health care I have now, but I am also very grateful for the health care Planned Parenthood provided for me and so many women and men that I know. I have heard so many stories about early cancer diagnoses from a Planned Parenthood facility saving someone's life. Planned parenthood saves lives. Really that's all that needs to be said. I chose to give my donation to Planned Parenthood because I am so grateful for them and this is my small way for giving back.

I am thankful for one last scooter ride before the temperatures drop. I am so thankful for the time I spent on my yoga mat yesterday. Michael's birthday is tomorrow. I am super thankful that we have this opportunity to celebrate another year of his life. I am thankful for small successes. I am thankful for hope and I am thankful for you. This will be a weekend of baking and preparing for Thanksgiving for me and I suspect for many of you. Here's to a weekend filled with the joyful aromas of cakes and pies and here's to a wonderfully Thankful Friday!