Georgia WAND’s Emilia Kaiser Speaks at Moral Monday’s Jailed for Justice Tour Launch
"My name is Emilia Kaiser, and I am honored and proud to have taken a stand with so many incredible people to demand Medicaid Expansion in Georgia on March 18, 2014 when I was arrested with many others in front of the Georgia State Senate doors. I want to tell you all why I did that.
For the last three years I’ve worked with an organization called Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, or Georgia WAND, and our mission is to empower women politically to redirect excessive military spending towards unmet human and environmental needs. Years before I started working with Georgia WAND, there was a point in my life when I actually bought into the myth of scarcity. I was genuinely under the impression that the reason that so many people went without adequate nutrition, education, housing and healthcare was that there simply wasn’t enough to go around. I don’t believe this anymore. The truth is, we live in a world of abundance, and for those of us lucky enough to live in this Country, we live in exceptional abundance. The problem is not that our country cannot afford to provide great healthcare, food, housing and education to everyone here, no matter how they got here, the problem is that many of our leaders choose not to. Many of our leaders choose to invest instead in endless wars abroad, to invest in the development of killer autonomous drones, nuclear warheads, f35 fighter jets with engines that catch fire (there are $400 billion tax dollars worth of busted jets grounded on a runway in Florida right now). Our leaders choose to invest in stuffing the pockets of billionaires with tax breaks and corporate welfare while people in this country go without some of the most basic necessities.
When the affordable healthcare Act passed, I was so excited because even though it wasn’t perfect, even though as a nation we could do more to provide healthcare for people here, it meant that our Congress was choosing to invest in something good.
Sadly for the state of Georgia, Governor Deal’s choice to refuse to expand Medicaid means that Georgia is going to lose access to a big part of that investment. It means that 650 thousand Georgians will still be without access to healthcare. It means that rural hospitals in Georgia will not have the resources to care for their patients. It means that 3,600 people will likely die each year because they could not afford necessary treatments for their illnesses and injuries. In a country that has the abundance that we have, there is no excuse for this.
For me, standing up for Medicaid expansion has nothing to do with being a democrat or a republican, it is about doing what’s right. It’s about holding our leaders accountable for the choices that they make. This is why all of us are here today. We’re not going to stand by when Governor Deal makes a choice that effectively condemns thousands of Georgians to death. We’re going to stand up and do something about it!"For information about the tour dates across Georgia please visit http://www.moralmondayga.com/. Georgia WAND is proud to partner with Moral Monday Georgia and the Georgia NAACP hosting voter registration drives at many tour stops across the state and training volunteers to conduct voter registration through our We Count! program. Please contact Amanda at email@example.com for more information about how you can get involved.