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

Somebody 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
  • 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
  • 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.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.