(COMMON DREAMS) – Briana Moss, 30, grew up in Dyersville, Iowa, site of the “field of dreams” (from the 1989 movie). Despite the reputation of her hometown, her own life dreams feel on hold. At age 30, when many young people are getting their careers off the ground, Moss’ life choices are guided by one thing: the need for insulin.
“I know of people with diabetes literally dying because they cannot afford their insulin. It’s very scary and very real,” says Moss, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12. She hadn’t yet finished college when her family insurance ended at 26, and after a few frantic months of insulin rationing, she found coverage through Iowa Medicaid. That’s where she remains, doing secretarial work at a family business, afraid to make any big life changes – which could be deadly.
Emily Hibshman, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, 25, has spent her post-college years fighting for change, as an organizer for social justice organizations and a labor union. The path forward, however, seems to have a “stop” sign in it. With her budding career often pinned to campaign cycles, she laments her approaching 26th birthday and subsequent loss of family insurance, explaining, “If I had that social safety net of knowing I had health care, I might be able to continue doing organizing work.”
Moss and Hibshman have more in common than feeling their life choices are limited by a broken, profit-driven health care system. They also share a commitment to standing up and fighting back, as young leaders in the movement to win Medicare for All.