The United States remains the only developed country in the world unable to come to agreement on an answer.Earlier this year, I was visiting Athens, Ohio, the town in the Appalachian foothills where I grew up.Within a year, she had weaned herself off the methadone.“It was miraculous,” she said.In middle age, with her daughter grown up and in the Army Reserves herself, Maria got her life back and returned to school.But her condition worsened, and soon she became too ill to work.“I didn’t even have enough energy to fry a pound of hamburger,” she said.“I’d have to fry half of it and then sit down, rest, and get up and fry the rest.At first, doctors thought that she had multiple sclerosis. After Joe left the military, he found steady, secure work as an electrical technician at an industrial plant nearby.Maria did secretarial and office-manager jobs and had a daughter.
“You may feel like you are in the movie ‘Deliverance,’ ” she said, but it wasn’t like that at all.
The first victim found was Melody Wiggins, 29, back in 2005.
In 2007, Jackie Thorpe, 35, was found nude in a pile of trash.
The battle over whether to repeal, replace, or repair the Affordable Care Act raged then, as it continues to rage now.
So I began asking people whether they thought that health care was a right. A friend had put me in touch with a forty-seven-year-old woman I’ll call Maria Dutton.
They had a tidy, double-wide modular home with flowered wallpaper, family pictures on every surface, a vase of cut roses on a sideboard, and an absurdly friendly hound in the yard.