DESPICABLE REED

The following article was written and submitted by Lee Marcus of Steuben County.

disability-basicsSomebody is going to have to explain it to me. I don’t understand the desire. Why does a man seek power in government and then use that power to take down his neighbors? Our congressman, Tom Reed, just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan so flawed, it is punitive. Reed’s party mocked President Obama’s insurance plan because it took 2000 typewritten pages to describe all the things it covered, all the regulations it imposed on companies that make money by denying us health care when we need it. Those companies had so many tricks up their sleeves, yes, it took gallons of ink to set out in writing some rules about how human beings should treat each other, especially those who have power, how they should treat those who do not.

Republicans are proud because their health “care” plan took only a few pages to describe, probably only a few hours to concoct. What it says is, your state can allow insurance companies to go back to charging higher premiums if you have what they call a “pre-existing condition.” It would be only for the first year they insure you, but it can cost you many thousands more than you’re paying under the Affordable Care Act. Can’t afford that? Good. Then they won’t have to cover you at all; you just live with your illness or die, who cares? Apparently not the guy you sent to congress to represent you. (His family business is debt collection. For health care companies.)

Here’s what Reed said:

“…a great victory for the American people. We are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system. The AHCA upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and the expansion of Medicaid, which help our most vulnerable populations. The bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid. We care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions…”

Everything about that statement is false or misleading. The ACA is not broke or broken, except where Republicans refused to allow their states to participate in the exchanges. The AHCA clearly does not protect people with pre-existing conditions. It does cut Medicaid by putting an arbitrary limit on the amount going to the states instead of matching funds based on need. And the remark about “giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions” is downright laughable. For one thing, the AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, the one provider Republicans deplore precisely because it does allow people to make their own reproductive health care decisions. Beyond that, how much “freedom and flexibility” do you have if you can’t afford insurance at all? I guess you’re free to forage in the woods for some cure you found on the internet.

My advice—don’t even think about changing jobs EVER, because here are just some of the pre-existing conditions for which you could be priced out of the market, according to the Kaiser Foundation:

  • lupus
  • alcohol abuse/drug abuse
  • mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or an eating disorder
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • fibromyalgia and other inflammatory joint disease
  • muscular dystrophy
  • CANCER
  • obesity
  • cerebral palsy
  • organ transplant
  • congestive heart failure
  • paraplegia
  • coronary artery/HEART DISEASE
  • bypass surgery
  • paralysis
  • Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • COPD/emphysema
  • pending surgery or hospitalization
  • DIABETES mellitus
  • pneumocystis PNEUMONIA
  • epilepsy
  • PREGNANCY
  • hemophilia
  • sleep apnea
  • hepatitis C
  • stroke
  • kidney disease
  • renal failure

Kaiser lists other conditions that could make it harder to purchase health insurance:

  • acne
  • allergies
  • anxiety
  • asthma
  • basal cell carcinoma
  • depression
  • ear infections
  • fractures
  • high cholesterol
  • hypertension
  • incontinence
  • joint injuries
  • kidney stones
  • menstrual irregularities
  • migraine headaches
  • being overweight
  • restless leg syndrome
  • tonsillitis
  • urinary tract infections
  • varicose veins
  • vertigo.

Funny, you don’t see erectile dysfunction on the list, do you? Surprised? Do you see any problem with allowing insurance companies to price pregnant women out of the market? Name another country in the world that doesn’t provide health care for pregnancy and birth. I guess that’s American exceptionalism. You can thank Congressman Reed and his Republican colleagues for bringing such shame and misery on America.

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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10 Responses to DESPICABLE REED

  1. Karen Ash says:

    Working for health insurance is the new indentured servitude. Bosses can shackle people with low wages, crazy hours, unfulfilling work, zero upward mobility, and they say “yes sir. Absolutely, sir.” just to keep the bloody health insurance. I thought the 14th amendment did away with this. Wham. Another paradigm shattered.

    • whungerford says:

      Yes, if one is laid off, not only income is lost but also health insurance. One has little choice but to find another job as quickly as possible.

      • Rynstone says:

        Loosing health insurance has always been the case when a person is laid off, terminated or quits. COBRA has been available for many years but usually out of reach for most middle income families when the primary earner and provider of healthcare looses their job.

        Obamacare was not the answer and Obamacare 2 (Trumpcare) is not the answer. The answer lies in the true free market system. Get Government regulations out of teh picture, allow individuals to shop and purchase health insurance like insurance for thei car, house, boat RV etc….

        My auto insurance does not pay for oil changes, brakes, tires and other preventative maint.

        • pystew says:

          Rynstone, name a country that has a profit driven health care system.

          • Rynstone says:

            “Health care system” is too broad of a term. if there is no chance of a profit to be made companies will not invest in future advancements. Nurses, doctors, technicians, ambulance drivers don’t work for free.
            How many “Not For Profits” pay their CEO huge salaries with huge perks? Lots.

            If you are advocating that a Pharmaceutical company or a medical device company or a hospital should not be making a profit then you are a communist.
            The biggest reason for out of reach healthcare costs is the government and their coddling of Pharmaceutical and Insurance lobbyists.

            A good example I like to use is the elective laser eye surgery. When it first became available it was expensive. No Insurance companies covered it. And then with more and more people electing to pay for it the technology, equipment and the procedure improved which increased productivity allowing the companies and doctors competing in the market to reduce their costs to attract more customers. All with little government and Insurance company intervention. Technology and Free Market will reduce costs and win out every-time if we can get the Government, the politicians and the Pharmaceutical and Insurance Company Lobbyists out of it.

            Without taking too much time to research this I found this list of countries that most likely do not have Universal Tax Payer funded healthcare. This info is only as accurate as the sources I dug up.
            Most of the countries in Africa including South Africa, most of the countries in the Middle East (including Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Jordan), Mexico, South American countries of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Paraguay, Most Central American Countries, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and most of South East Asia and Indonesia.

            PYSTEW, If you would like, I will accompany you to Cuba for your next medical procedure or doctor visit.

            • pystew says:

              No industrial country has a pure profit based health care system. But that is what you want the USA to be. It’s a pipe dream. It won’t work. Trump doesn’t care what we have, but he just wants to pass anything. Reed said that he promised that he would repeal Obamacare. Most people want our representatives to work together to improve Health Care, not to beat their chests to say that they Won. They could devise a health plan that lacks basic health elements and would save the country enough money to give the $200,000 wage earners a huge TaX CUT.

  2. whungerford says:

    Reed’s argument in a nutshell is this:

    Obamacare is a disaster –> We had no choice but to pass AHCA.
    AHCA was the only alternative before the House –> We could only vote yes or no.

    Even if the premise of the first argument were true, the conclusion doesn’t follow–there were and are a myriad of ways in which any problems with Obamacare might be corrected.

    For the second argument, the premise is false. The Freedom Caucus revolt, the McGovern amendment, and the Upton amendment show that changes, which might have been improvements, were possible had Tom asked for them. As for the conclusion of the second (false) argument, Tom could have voted no.

  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    Excellent article. I’m sure many, like myself, called his office and sent a letter urging Reed to vote no on this horrific bill. As usual, he ignores his constituents and goose-steps with the GOP.

  4. Barbara Crumb says:

    I wish I could share this.

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