Matthew Cortland

United States of America

Talk Poverty
You Shouldn't Need a Law Degree to Get Food Assistance

I'm a lawyer, but I was barely able to navigate the food assistance bureaucracy in Massachusetts. Even in one of the most liberal states in this country, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is already so hostile to hungry people that had I not had a legal education to help me steer through, I would have starved.

Last year, keeping me alive cost $141,257. But Republicans want to stop paying

My prescription for rifaxamin, an antibiotic, costs Medicaid $4,315 per month in the United States. Medicaid - arguably the closest thing the US has to the NHS - is keeping millions alive, including me. Without this staggeringly expensive drug to help control the symptoms associated with my Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), I would be left with constant, crippling, and incredibly painful diarrhoea.

The Stranger
Congress Is Trying to Kill Me. Again.

After half a dozen failed proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-along with hundreds of protests, tens of thousands of phone calls, and after personally yelling at Mitch McConnell over a loudspeaker from the lawn of the Capitol-we're right back where we started.

Education in Chemistry
Why banning laptops is harmful

'You're not supposed to have a laptop, you idiot.' 'What's wrong with you?' My classmates hurled abuse at me for being the only one with a laptop on my desk after our teacher banned all electronics. I was allowed an exception to the class rule. 'Laptops', Mr Smith told us, 'are distracting and disruptive.'