A SAD DAY FOR AMERICA
Make that another sad day for America.
The first came in November with our election of the least qualified man ever chosen as U.S. president. Today, even FBI leader, James Comey, says he is “slightly nauseous” that he may have influenced the outcome. Whatever. He certainly didn’t help.
Early this week, just as I was celebrating the bipartisan House spending bill that incorporated compromises most of us can live with . . . the issue of a major health care reversal loomed like a grizzly bear on the sidelines, ready to eviscerate its victim.
Today—just minutes ago--it happened. Our House of Representatives has taken the first step to make Obamacare disappear. Claiming that in some states it has already vanished, the “house,” by a narrow margin, voted down the rest. Instead of fixing what was already there, house members placated Freedom Caucus members (notoriously against spending money to help anyone), to get needed votes.
If the Senate agrees, ailing Americans will suffer just as surely as though attacked by bears. The hurried, careless way this bill has been thrown together—with zero input from health care professionals—means millions of sick Americans will find themselves with minimal care. Or none.
Oh, yes, the Republicans pretended that “The States” would take over the “pre-existing conditions” issue, putting sick people into high-risk pools. But California, the most liberal of states, has already proven such pools don’t work. Today’s front page article in the Los Angeles Times (“A Case Study in State-run Health Failures”) describes what happens. People are put on long waiting lists. And meanwhile they get sicker.
Richard Figueroa, a past enrollment director of such a pool, laments the outcome when desperately ill people are finally sent the all-important, life-saving letter. “They would say, “Thank you, but you can give our slot to someone else, because my brother or my wife or my daughter has died.”
A vital question: who among you, reading this piece, does not already have a “pre-existing condition?” If, during your thirty, forty, or however-many years, you’ve been to the doctor for anything, you can be presumed as having such a condition. My twenty-something grandson, prone to strep-throats, has been seen by doctors several times . . . no doubt a disqualifying ailment for traditional insurance companies.
With today’s all-political, non-medical bill a victory for Trump and Ryan, ordinary citizens are about to reap what the voters sowed in November. We hope it’s not a medical disaster.
But with health care now dictated in part by the Freedom Caucus . . . what else can it be?