I was going to post at length about the Affordable Care Act, but I’ll just sum it up with this:
Don’t repeal it. Republicans say it’s because it isn’t Constitutional, but really- they’re trying to protect insurance company and pharmaceutical profits, because insurance companies and pharmaceuticals make huge donations to campaigns. Largely so that their interests are protected.
If someone says that it’s anti-American to say that a company shouldn’t be able to turn a profit, nobody’s saying that they can’t make a profit. The US is the only country in the first world tier of countries that doesn’t limit the profits that a private insurance company can make. Not all Europeans countries have nationalized health care, and those that don’t treat health care the way that we treat homeowner’s insurance and car insurance- as something that you’re required to carry for your own financial protection.
What isn’t very nice is that every day, average Americans are forced to make decisions about their health based on whether or not they can afford it. Treatable illnesses go unchecked and become something more serious.
Two anecdotes. My father found himself without insurance and COBRA premiums were just too high. So he looked into private insurance for our family. We filled out the paperwork, and they told us that three of us had preexisting conditions and our rates would go up for coverage. These preexisting conditions? My mom and I get migraines. I had a back injury but had completed rehab for it. My sister had ADD. To solve this problem, my dad put me on my school’s bare bones insurance (which essentially just covered visits at their school clinic). To this day, I am grateful that while I was on this insurance that the later back injuries I had occurred at my job, which had an in-house rehab center. If they hadn’t provided that to me free of charge, I know I would have been in big trouble.
Then, Jerad. He had been unemployed and without insurance for years. He was going to school full time and started to get sick regularly. A cold here and there, and a stomach bug with side pains that would keep him down for a weekend. He didn’t have the money to go to a doctor. There were many times that I offered to take him to my doctor and pay for his appointment, but he turned me down. I actually heard him says (many times) that “if I’m still in pain” or “vomiting blood” in X days, then he’d go. Of course, he felt better by then.
He suffered from pancreatitis on and off for the last year- at least that’s what I’m certain of now. He went to a doctor who wanted to run a panel of tests just to confirm it was a stomach bug. Jerad said no (since he couldn’t afford it) and felt better shortly after the trip. That panel probably would have shown he had pancreatitis. Basic medical coverage would have saved his life.
Can’t we send the message that individuals are more important than corporations? That our legislature values the words of the people, not just the companies that will contribute to their campaigns?
Update: On a similar note to Jerad’s story, here’s the story about the death of writer Melissa Hall. Don’t tell me that it’s just the poor who are without insurance. There are self-employed individuals who otherwise make a good living, but can’t get insurance because of the cost to insure someone with a “pre-existing condition.”
I promise, a less ranty post tomorrow. On what? My birthday weekend, of course!