Many of you have seen her face, even if you don’t know her. Some may have even shared a photograph of her after hearing her story. Stephanie Sautter, in her “I am the 99%” pro-Occupy photo, drew quite a bit of attention to herself with this inspirational photograph.
The internet responded with donations and well-wishings, and Stephanie kept in touch via her Facebook page, providing updates on her condition. On September 23, Stephanie posted on her Facebook page that she was in hospice at her mother’s house. Though she was weakened, she did her best to keep in regular contact/
She was diagnosed with a rather aggressive form of breast cancer and, since she lacked insurance had to wait three months for acceptance into Medi-Cal, the cancer was allowed time to spread to her lymph nodes.
Today, Stephanie’s friends and supporters were informed via Facebook that she had passed on this morning. Stephanie’s inspirational attitude will never be forgotten. Those who have followed her story will always remember her as a pillar of light in an otherwise dark world.
Did it have to be this way? Had the ACA been effect at the time of her diagnosis, Stephanie would have had health insurance. In fact, that coverage would have been more affordable, and no insurer could deny her. She would have begun her treatment months earlier, giving her a more treatable scenario. Perhaps, had the ACA been in effect, Stephanie would still be with us today.
When the Teapublicans/GOP rail against “Obamacare,” they are saying that someone like Stephanie–a bright, wonderful human being who happens to suffer from the small moral deficiency (in their eyes) of not having enough money. When we hear that we were “just fine before,” as Tea Party loon Michele Bachmann recently put it, they are saying that (just like before) someone like Stephanie does not deserve access to the care she needs.
With all the talk of death panels, we need to ask ourselves if we do not, indeed, have a true death panel already. After all, what we see in the far right and even among moderate Republicans, is a belief that certain people just don’t deserve fair access to affordable coverage. Is a group of individuals that can so rashly pronounce judgment on entire classes of people–a group of uncaring, nihilistic misanthropes who repeatedly vote for the sickening and quickened demise of those they deem not worthy–not a “death panel“?
These same people who would see someone like Stephanie denied care also laughably claim to be pro-life. They rail against abortion in even situations that would mean the end of the mother’s life. However, once that child is born they are instantly willing to cut SNAP benefits for the mother, making it hard to feed that child. As soon as that child is 18, these warmongers want to send him or her off to the next big thing in senseless battles, as fodder for the goals of their corporate masters.
The “pro-life” crowd is pretty heartless.
Stephanie, we will miss you more than you will ever realize. The impact you have had on the lives of so many just by being you is nothing short of astonishing. Wherever you are, may you find peace.