The news is hard to follow lately. I get the feeling this is by design. Headlines include a brand new kind of hurricane heading towards New Orleans (climate change is the cause of the massive rainstorms that have destroyed crops all over the midwest and south, and that moisture drifted over the gulf AND IS CREATING AN ACTUAL HURRICANE so look forward to that happening now forever until we can somehow undo the damage we’ve already done to the planet), the brutally photographed deaths of refugees seeking asylum at our borders, the likelihood of war with Iran, and the president saying things like that he won’t ever stop being president and he’ll still be president in ten years.
It’s hard to get any deeper in the news. And when you do, there’s stories like the graphic account of a 22nd victim of sexual assault by Donald Trump, or the arrest of convicted child sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein who is a friend of Donald Trump and who Trump’s protection has kept out of prison despite he and Trump doing sex crimes together.
So maybe you haven’t noticed that while all this is going on, Donald Trump’s judicial appointees have managed to position a new attach on the Affordable Care Act, this time heading it towards a Supreme Court now stacked with Kavanaugh, Trump’s judicial branch sex-crimes bro. They are preparing to get rid of it, every single statute.
Let me walk you through why this should matter to you, even if you don’t rely on it.
A) You should care that other people are dying and bankrupting their entire families trying to access care that is accessible to everyone in every other developed country on Earth. That should be worth paying a few extra bucks a year in taxes. If you donate to one person’s Go-Fund-Me for medical expenses each year, you are already paying more than national healthcare would cost you.
B) It DOES affect you, you just haven’t taken the time to actually follow this through to its logical conclusion.
The reasons it affects you come down to a few key components: the lifetime coverage caps, and the pre-existing condition exemptions.
Ask yourself two questions.
First, do you or anyone you love suffer from pre-existing or expensive medical conditions, or do you have a family history of any expensive medical conditions- say, has a parent or grandparent had heart surgery or cancer?
Second, can you afford to pay out of pocket for the treatment for everyone you love? Your kids? Your parents? Your siblings? Your grandparents? Your friends?
If the answer to the second question is, “No,” ask yourself, is there anyone in your life who can help you with those bills? Great! But does THAT person have anyone else in their life that might take priority over you? Is your need for lifesaving treatment when you have cancer or diabetes, or long-term care if you have Alzheimer’s or cancer going to be the thing they decide is most important? Are you going to go your sister and say, “Hey, I know you’re about to have a brand new baby and that comes with a lot of medical costs, but I need to borrow half a million dollars so I can have chemotherapy and radiation and there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to pay you back.”
If the answer to the second question is, “Yes,” ask yourself, for how long? And for how many of the people you love? Can you pay out-of-pocket for your parents to have full-time nursing care as they age? Can you also afford that for your in-laws? Can you also afford to pay for your brother-in-law’s surgery fees? If not, can you afford to pay for a place for your sister and her family to live after they file for bankruptcy because THEY couldn’t pay for surgery?
At what point do you want to have to say, “I love you, but I cannot use my resources to keep you alive or safe.”
Because this is what we’re coming to. When there are lifetime caps, a common one was a million dollars, it doesn’t matter if you can afford to buy your own insurance, insurance won’t cover those medical expenses. When the pre-existing condition clauses go, it won’t MATTER if you can maintain employment, your employer won’t have to cover your medical expenses.
My husband’s lifetime of medical care has exceeded a million dollars. I don’t think most people understand how quickly costs add up in our medical system. The costs are astronomical, because they can be. The ACA slowed it down, for a minute, but it’s been destabilized from day one by people who want a two-tier medical system.
The way I see it, it’s the same thought process that makes people upset about equal rights for gay or black or female people. “More rights for you means less rights for me,” is the attitude. It seems to be that for these same people, “More healthcare for you means less healthcare for me,” which is also objectively not true.
The time is long past to worry about the ideological purity of candidates. The time is long past to tell yourself it’s only the presidency you should be worrying about voting for. Right now, we desperately need to get the Republicans out of every single layer of government. I don’t care if abortion is your one issue, this is literally life or death.
Is your local govenrment full of Republicans? Say goodbye to community healthcare. State government? States have been either expanding Medicare or stripping the ACA, there’s no middle ground, and it all depends on whether or not it’s a Republican majority. Federal government? You need to be voting for Democrats for the House, for Senate, for EVERYTHING.
Because this is it. This is the crisis nobody can evade. The only people who survive when medical providers are allowed to charge whatever they hell they want and insurance carriers are allowed to deny coverage to whoever the hell they want, the only people who will be able to LIVE are the people who have the money to pay out of pocket, or at the very least the money to go to another country for medical care.
And after the way our country has treated refugees, how do you expect other countries to treat you when you’re fleeing the US to get cancer treatments in another country?
Vote Blue. Every time. Every race.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) October 25, 2018
Read more about saving the ACA here: “Begging My Congressman For My Families Lives
Read my most recent post here: When Some Children Matter and Some Don’t
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