Reprint from May 4, 2017
NOTE: As sad as this is, the bill currently before the Senate is even meaner. It will likely not pass — we hope. I’ll be watching this situation closely over the weeks to come.
American health care is descending into a death spiral.
In an earlier post I encouraged readers to reach out to their representatives and Senators, so I did as well. Congressman Rick Larson represents my Washington State district and upon visiting his website I found an invitation to share our personal health care crises as a result of rising costs, which I did.
Regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, Trump supporter or detractor; these numbers are frightening. Here’s an excerpt of my letter to Congressman Larson. Some is omitted as being too personal to share with the general public.
We have both worked hard all of our lives and yet I fear that the next big illness we face could mean death, because with $600 monthly premiums we can’t afford to pay for doctors’ visits. And I pray we don’t end up in the hospital. I have put off knee replacement surgery for seven years now because we can’t afford it. My husband has to go without insulin from time to time. This is an utter nightmare to which I see no end.
With the proposed changes under the American Health Care Act before Congress, this picture promises to grow even darker, as premiums for older people are portended to skyrocket at the same time our wages have plummeted – if we can even find work. How are we supposed to survive?
The Republican’s claim the government has no obligation to ensure that healthcare is affordable. If not the government, then who?
According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), 14 million people will be without health insurance next year if American Health Care Act is signed into law. The AHCA allows insurance companies to charge up to five times more for premiums for the elderly and sick. “In 2026, under Obamacare, a 64-year-old who earns $26,500 a year and faces a typical premium of $15,500 would pay just $1,700. The AHCA would require a payment of $14,500, almost nine times as much, and not one some making $26,500 is likely to be able to afford.” – FORTUNE
It seems the elderly have been deemed expendable.
This change would leave us with a monthly shortfall of $1,000. This, of course, means we would have to forgo health insurance at a time in our lives when we need it the most. Was this indeed the thinking of the GOP all along?
When a government deems segments of its population expendable and then sets policies in motion that would, even if indirectly, eliminate these segments, what do we call that?
Sadly, as I was composing my letter, the American Health Care Act passed the House.
Clearly the GOP consensus is that the poor, the sick and the elderly are indeed expendable. I wish I could ask each of them individually. “If you did not have the resources that you currently possess — a stable home, financial security — and you had to make critical health care decisions for your parents, your children; is this what you would have chosen for them?”