Here's How The State Of US Health Care Is Preventing This Disabled Comic From Getting Back Behind The Mic

Ally Bruener

Every episode, The Bodcast tells a different story about living in a marginalized body, in America, in 2017. This week, we’re talking to  Ally Bruener, a comic with congenital muscular dystrophy.  Ally is confined to a wheelchair, and can’t live independently. Despite the challenges she faces living day to day, she’s become a part of her local comedy scene in Kentucky. Unfortunately, her access to home health aide, particularly in the wake of changes to Medicaid, could threaten her ability to perform.

In June 2017, a Kentucky-based comic named Ally Bruener posted something alarming to her Facebook page.

"I think it's time for me to publicly address why I'm no longer able to perform stand-up, indefinitely," she wrote. "The simple answer: Healthcare [sic]. I live in a state that apparently believes a program which allows me to pee once a day and shower once a week is reasonable and dignified."

The series of events leading up to this post tell a story — not just about healthcare, but about what it really means to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same spaces as the able-bodied. Ally's story is unique, but begs an important question: If we want to see people with disabilities participating comfortably in the world, are we willing to pay attention to the work it takes to get them there?