Posted by: minnow | July 13, 2017

“WHEN DID HEALTHCARE BECOME A RIGHT?”

He yelled via caps on Facebook.  Honestly, I’d never asked myself that question.  Certainly the majority of people in the world don’t have healthcare as a right.  They live in developing nations where access to healthcare is the issue, never mind the cost. But here, in the US we face a different problem. Cost is the issue.  The majority think it’s too high.  A few, sadly most of whom are the same few who currently hold the power, couldn’t care less.

The ACA gave 20 million people healthcare who otherwise could not afford it.  Some, who already had healthcare, were angry because premiums increased.  People didn’t realize (or were fooled by the rhetoric on the Right) that insurance companies, not the ACA itself, increased those costs. Now, after undermining the success of the ACA, the GOP has come up with an alternative plan.  If you were upset with rising premiums before, just wait.  42 million are at risk of losing healthcare and insurance companies will want to recoup their losses somehow.  Dozens of pre-existing conditions will no longer be covered.  Rates will be connected to age, with seniors losing out.  And while it will be perfectly okay to go without insurance for a time, under the House GOP plan providers will be allowed to charge a 30% fee from those who have a gap in their coverage.  The Senate plan is…well since few have seen it we aren’t sure, but it’s safe to say similar.

The GOP argues equal access–They give everyone access–but as we know access in America isn’t the issue.

In order to distract us from the real problem–HOW MUCH HEALTHCARE COSTS (and why)–supporters of the GOP plan have flooded social media with memes, posts, and stories suggesting we are unreasonable to expect old men to pay for maternity care, or the middle class to pay for poor people who smoke.  Seriously!? Are we really unreasonable to expect insurance to function the way it was designed to function–as a pool of resources that everyone contributes to so those who have need can dip into it when their particular need arises, regardless of what their need is!?

In truth, people do a lot of things which do not serve their best interest.  They eat bacon and highly processed foods.  They drink highly sugared or diet soda.  They don’t get enough exercise.  They put chemicals on their skin to look and smell better. Even though these are socially acceptable behaviors their practice costs us at a health level. Should we calculate the risk factor of each and every thing we do and charge insurance accordingly?  
Have we, as a society, truly come to the place where making sure the “undeserving” don’t benefit from a compassion based system is worth neglecting those in sudden need? If wanting equitable and affordable healthcare for all makes me a bleeding heart liberal, so be it.  I proudly stand on the side that believes a happier, healthier work force is a more productive work force.  I gladly side with those who believe taking care of the weak and vulnerable is a moral imperative and distinguishes us from the Godless. I don’t even mind if you call me a socialist since from what I have seen socialists stand a long side the masses, the working class, those who produce the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the roofs over our heads.  Healthcare is a right–if we want to claim our faith as a motivating factor for the decisions we make.  Healthcare is a right–if we want to claim justice as a foundational principle.  Healthcare is a right–if we believe America can ever be a great nation. My right to life should not end the minute I was born.
Did you know, it used to be illegal to profit from healthcare? Now it’s a multibillion dollar FOR PROFIT industry. SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE is only one way to help the masses find some degree of stability. But, while we, the people, know the answer getting our current Congress to agree with us is a different story.  The GOP had six years of the Obama administration to come up with the better plan than the ACA (Obamacare).  They couldn’t do it.  Despite all their bravado and bluster the plan they finally rolled out breaks every promise they made to take care of middle class America.  WE MUST FIND AND ELECT REPLACEMENTS for ALL those in Congress who have proven once again they are only interest in representing special interests and the wealthy elite! 
Hold Congress accountable in 2018!
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Responses

  1. This is beautiful! I am so glad I found your blog!

    When did healthcare become a right? The fact is that it is a right in EVERY SINGKE OTHER DEVELOPED NATION. Yes, there are many nations where it is not a right, and we spend billions on helping to provide it– except in our own country.

    I have heard, “I don’t need maternity coverag (as a man). Why should I pay for it?” “If people led good lives, they would not get sick.” “Why should young people subsidize the old and sick?” Ignoring the fact that they will one day be old and may get sick at any time. “They can just go to the ER to get medical care.” No, no they cannot. An ER is NOT medical care, it is crisis care. “Your child being born ill does not obligate me to pay for someone else’s medical care.” “Older people can pay more than younger ones. They’ve got more money.” “If you don’t have healthcare, get a better job.” “Anyone who uses Medicaid (or any other benefits) is lazy and doesn’t want to work.” Fact is, over 75% have full-time jobs, but do not make enough or get benefits.” “If people lose health insurance, that is a good thing. It means the market is working.”

    They put out all kinds of misinformation, aside from the callousness invoked. Fact is that the Essential Benefits they want to get rid of apply to EVERYONE, regardless of where you get you insurance, and losing them hurts EVERYONE. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies kept EIGHTY PERCENT of your money and spend only 20% on actual care. There are no “death panels,” except for those run by the insurance companies. We pay the highest rate in the world for health care, and have some of the worst outcomes in the developed world– we do NOT have the best healthcare in the world; far from it. Wait times are NOT drastically longer in single payer countries. They are much happier with their care than Americans; the biggest complaint in ACA ad a was that the percentage of money spent should increase, to provide more care. The cost trajectory has actually SLOWED since the ACA from what it was projected to be.

    The benefits of Medicare for All, some of which we have already seen in some form from ACA:

    1) healthcare is not tied to your job. You can change jobs or be self-employed, or lose your job, and not worry about losing health care. We have already seen this benefit, which is critical in the new “gig” economy.

    2) money is spent on actual CARE, instead of profits for insurance companies (who, again, kept 80% of their customers’ money until forced to change), or pharmaceutical companies who raise prices of life-saving medications thousands of percentd overnight and complain they should have raised it more because their obligation is to share holders and the board, or who double the cost of a literal emergency lif and death medication that actually costs .50 and then “create” and sell a “generic” at the original price. Of course, they get all the money. Why should we allow them to take such advantage of people who are ill? Why should our money be going to them instead of to actually provide us with health care?

    3). You actually COULD keep your doctor and choose your hospital. Instead of having to change when your insurance changes or determine which one accepts it. As long as insurance companies are in charge, you will be limited as to your providers.

    4). IF you take away all of the co-pays, premiums, deductibles, etc, you will be paying LESS for MORE care.

    5) preventive care is more effective and cheaper than emergency or critical care. We have already seen this, many people getting care for the first time. Talk to medical providers in rural areas. It has made a HUGE difference in health, and brought care to places that never had it before.

    6) healthier populations are more productive.


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