Taking Care of the Vulnerable While in a Vulnerable Position

Excerpts from a June 4 speech in Albany, NY

I represent healthcare workers across New York State. In my travels, those who take care of others often can’t afford health coverage themselves. They work 2 and 3 jobs because they can’t afford the health insurance offered by their employer. They have to work and take care of the vulnerable while in a vulnerable position themselves.

That’s because the healthcare industry is about the dollar. Not one of the institutions’ owners ever worry about going to see a doctor, or taking off work for an injury, or being able to provide healthcare for their children. I am here in support of the Poor People’s Campaign because that’s everybody in our community who’s not part of the
1 percent. Whether you want to admit it or not, that’s who you are. If you have to make a decision whether to stay home and take care of a sick kid, or go to work so you can pay your rent, guess what? You’re poor!

No working person is out there working just for the art of work. We work because we can’t afford to live day to day.

If you’re making barely above minimum wage, how can you afford to pay a health premium that’s $152 a week to cover your family? You can’t! That’s your whole paycheck and then some.

I’m here to say that this is not just your problem or your neighbor’s problem. It’s all of our problem.


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