Irene North


Health care benefits the rich, takes from the poor

For nearly a decade, Republicans complained the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, had been shoved down their throats. They said it was passed too quickly and no one had time to read the bill. On Thursday, May 4, the Republicans in the House of Representatives did the same thing, throwing the entire health care system into chaos.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213. It is a $300 billion tax cut for the richest 2 percent of Americans. It is not health care reform.

After the vote, Senator Bernie Sanders said:

“The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster. It really has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous shift of wealth from working people to the richest Americans. This bill would throw 24 million people off of health insurance – including thousands of Vermonters – cut Medicaid by $880 billion, defund Planned Parenthood and substantially increase premiums on older Americans. Meanwhile, it would provide a $300 billion tax break to the top 2 percent and hundreds of billions more to the big drug and insurance companies that are ripping off the American people. Our job now is to rally millions of Americans against this cruel bill to make sure that it does not pass the Senate. Instead of throwing tens of millions of people off of health insurance, we must guarantee health care as a right to all.”

If you are a Trump and/or Republican supporter, you were conned. You now have a hard, and difficult, lesson to learn. For two years, I’ve been patient when speaking to you. I’m sick and tired of heartless bastards who don’t want to help their fellow man.

You are going to lose your health care because you didn’t want to take the time learn how the ACA works, nor did you appreciate its benefits and protections. Rather than fixing and improving the flawed ACA, Republicans are dismantling it, returning America to a time when medical bankruptcy was common and tens of thousands died each year because they could not afford care. Republicans who still believe this won’t affect them will not receive any sympathy when it happens to them.

You are uneducated. You consistently vote against your own interests. Voting for people who told you they were going to take away your health care is only one drop in the ocean of lies you have believed. They don’t care about you.

To the family with the autistic child who said their child would always be taken care of. I told you so.

To the family with the child with cerebral palsy who said they weren’t racist and Trump was going to make sure their child would have health coverage and special education classes, I told you so.

To the cancer survivors. You now have a pre-existing condition and the ACHA won’t cover you. I told you so.

Political Commentator Robert Reich also commented

“America has the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. Private for-profit health insurers do whatever they can to insure groups of healthy people, because that’s where the profits are. They also make every effort to avoid sick people, because that’s where the costs are.

“The Affordable Care Act puts healthy and sick people into the same insurance pool. But under the Republican bill that just passed the House, healthy people will no longer be subsidizing sick people.

“Healthy people will be in their own insurance pool. Sick people will be grouped with other sick people in their own high-risk pool – which will result in such high premiums, co-payments, and deductibles that many if not most won’t be able to afford the cost.”

Tom Edsall’s column in the New York Times explains why it is unlikely Trump supporters will listen. They don’t respond to evidence. They respond to emotion. Trump and the Republicans know how to manipulate those emotions so the people they harm will still point their fingers and place the blame on the liberals.

Fox News has been quick to jump on that bandwagon, stating that health care for people with pre-existing conditions is a luxury.

According to CBS News, the top 11 states with the highest percentage of people that have pre-existing conditions all voted for President Trump. In Louisiana, 30 percent of people under the age of 65 have a pre-existing condition.

Larry Levitt, of the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, says the bill “does not automatically eliminate coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.”

“What this bill would do is unleash debates in 50 state capitals around the country about whether people with pre-existing conditions should really be covered and protected,” he said.

The AHCA also eliminates the 10 essential benefits of Obamacare – outpatient care, emergency room trips, in-hospital care, pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services, lab tests, preventive services, and pediatric services.

If you’re a man and you don’t want to pay for pregnancy, maternity and newborn care because you’ll never use it. Yeah, you did. Your children had this care. Your wife had this care. You were once a baby. Your mother made sure you had the best start in life and now you want to wave a big “fuck you” to anyone else who’d like the same thing you had.

The MacArthur Meadows Amendment allows states to opt out of some essential health benefits requirements as well as the requirement that insurers not charge more for people with pre-existing conditions.

The bill’s MacArthur Meadows Amendment would allow states to permit insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Bizarrely, the term “pre-existing condition” applies to sexual assault, postpartum depression, C-sections, and victims of domestic violence…

Ironically, the Amendment itself states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to discriminate in rates for health insurance coverage by gender.”

Who is going to report a rape or sexual assault if it means you’ll later be denied vital medical care?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he is considering opting the state out.

The Upton Amendment, sets $8 billion aside for high risk pools. CNN cited the national average of Americans with pre-existing conditions is 27 percent. There are nearly 325 million Americans. 27 percent * 325 million = 87.75 million. That’s $91.17 or, split over five years as the bill proposes, is $18.23 per year. That’s what the House of Representatives has set aside to help out people with pre-existing conditions.

That’s enough for a bottle of Tylenol to take the edge off the pain of being screwed over by your government and your fellow man who supports this bill.

Defenders of this garbage believe in the philosophy that you failed as a human being by being sick. They say you should live a healthy lifestyle, practice preventative health and save using HSAs while contributing to a catastrophic plan. Again, they place the blame squarely on the sick person.

None of this is going to prevent you from a faulty liver or genetic kidney defect. It’s not going keep you from getting MS, lupus, asthma or a long list of other conditions, many of which can kill you without proper treatment.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Trump “will own every preventable death.”

“It represents fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and even newborn babies with heart diseases or cancers that are too costly to treat without affordable insurance,” he said.

Perez also slammed the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill for exempting members of Congress and their staffs from losing the healthcare bill’s popular provisions.

“As if this attack on ordinary Americans weren’t reprehensible enough, Republicans in Congress might keep ObamaCare’s best protections for themselves and their staffers, as they rip them away from their own constituents.”

Paul Ryan said in 2009 about how the ACA was passed. The AHCA has held no hearings, there have been no studies, the CBO analysis is not complete and the text of the bill was only circulated 16 hours before voting. So who actually read the bill?

Thomas Garrett, admitted on MSNBC he had not read the bill and his staff in his office read all the parts of the bill. Joe Barton said nobody really knows how much the bill was going to cost.

Is the ACA perfect? No, but it has a 65 percent approval rating and can be improved. The Republicans refused to do that, instead, voting for health care plans that will be unaffordable.

Our society is broken. We no longer have empathy for and are not willing to help our fellow man. It is literally killing us. Our life expectancy is decreasing, projected to be on par with Mexico by 2030. We lead shorter, less healthy lives than people in other high-income countries.

I’m still of the belief that no matter how ignorant and hateful you are, I will continue looking out for you and for the betterment of society. The basic necessities should never have to be a choice between food and medication.

That means as a childless American, I pay taxes so others are educated. I pay taxes so I can be assured the police and fire departments are there when/if I need them. I pay taxes for the ACA so people poorer and sicker than me don’t die. I pay taxes so a child doesn’t go hungry. This is my participation in civilized society.

If we continue down this backward path, our nation will crumble. No one can predict what their health is going to be like. We ought to be lifting one another up and making sure everyone is taken care of rather than living by the motto, “I’ve got mine, so screw you.”

Take a good look at the Republicans who voted for this bill. They are the real death panel. Hold them accountable.

If you want to learn more, follow this link to more articles or check out this list of things that weren’t widely reported in the media.


When other people cause the magic to fade


Revisiting a president’s desire to destroy the Constitution

1 Comment

  1. Irene North

    Hey folks. I’ve also put up a mailing list for you if you are worried you might miss a post, know someone who wants to read my stuff, but doesn’t have Facebook or whatever other reason you might want to be notified of a new post via email.

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