Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Nobody dies because they don't have access to healthcare..."

I've felt like I've fallen into the Twilight Zone over the past few days.  Even though I've made a concerted effort not to read too much about politics, I still manage to read about the most shocking headlines.  Last night, I watched a video and read a blog post about Idaho Republican Raul Labrador, who made a shockingly ignorant comment at a town hall meeting Friday morning.

It seems Mr. Labrador was at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, talking to constituents about the American Health Care Act, for which he voted.  A woman said that the lack of access to healthcare was essentially asking people to die.  Mr. Labrador then said...

“That line is so indefensible.  Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

Um... excuse me, but "What?"  

He really said that!

I suspect the politician was trying to defend his decision to vote for the horrifying changes to healthcare policy.  He claims that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, has been a "disaster" and the people want it repealed.  I will grant that the ACA has its problems.  Insurance premiums have skyrocketed for some people and many businesses have struggled to keep up with the costs.  Republicans claim the higher costs are because right now, insurance companies are mandated to offer coverage to all and not charge people more simply due to the fact that they have conditions that warrant actually using their insurance.

Edited to add... it turns out Mr. Labrador is LDS, so his inane remarks are being discussed on the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard.  One lady summed things up very nicely with this comment.

People die because they don't have access to the medical care that they need.

Usually, this is because medical care is so frightfully expensive. That's why we have medical insurance: to help offset the costs.

It's when the cost of the insurance itself - especially the better plans, with low deductibles and low co-pays - is so high. As usual, "them that has, gets."

After thirty years with Social Security, seeing people out of work for some reason or other, and therefore, without insurance (because I think that most people get medical insurance through employment), in desperate need of medical help, I am a big supporter of NHS.

Classic case: A person who can't work because of a mental illness. Denied for disability because "our records indicate that when you take your medication, you function normally." 

But without income from work, the person cannot obtain the necessary medication. This is SO unnecessary: a person who could and should be part of the workforce, except that there is no way for them to obtain the medication that would make it possible. I have seen this situation played out too many times to count. It is totally irresponsible and should not happen.

This week, we also heard this beaut of a comment from Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, who said in defense of "Trumpcare"...

"...It will free healthy people from having to pay the cost of the sick. It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies' health. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

Wow...  so people who are unfortunate enough to have been stricken by cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, or any serious congenital disease haven't been "leading good lives"?  Seriously, I was appalled at the list of pre-existing conditions politicians want to allow health insurers to be able to use in order to charge people more for their insurance.  I fear what will end up happening is that sick people will end up once again without insurance.  People who are very ill aren't exactly in a position to go out and work overtime hours in order to cover their inflated premiums.  And contrary to what Mr. Brooks seems to believe, people don't always get sick simply because they haven't been "living right."

A few days ago, Jimmy Kimmel tearfully told an audience about his newborn son, Billy, who was born with congenital heart defects.  The baby boy, born just ten days ago, underwent emergency open heart surgery when he was only a few days old.  It's hard not to be moved when babies are involved, but former Representative Joe Walsh of Illinois Tweeted...

Uh...  Mr. Walsh, do you understand how health insurance works?  As I understand it, Mr. Walsh is also against paying child support.  Big surprise!

I'm beginning to hate Republicans.  I know I shouldn't.  I am related to a lot of them and quite a few of my friends identify as politically conservative.  But these politicians seem to have no hearts and no brains.  Do politicians not understand that it doesn't serve society when formerly productive people who lack insurance get sick and are forced to seek healthcare in emergency rooms?  Emergency rooms are the most expensive places for people to access healthcare; however, anyone who goes to one in the United States will be seen, even if they can't pay.  When they can't pay because they can't access health insurance, those costs get passed on to people who can pay.  And that means rates go up for everyone who is "doing the right thing" and getting insured.  At the same time, those unfortunate uninsured souls end up with shitty credit because their bills go into arrears.  It's not good for society when people have bad credit.  That limits their purchasing power.

Seriously... I feel like there's a big tribe of morons in power right now who simply don't care about anything but the almighty dollar and instant gratification.  Yes, the ACA has problems and needs to be fixed.  But making health insurance prohibitively expensive for people who need medical care is not going to make anything better in the long run.  And they don't see that everyone is better off when people are healthy and able to work so they can pay their damn bills!  

You know... if you threaten to kill yourself, the odds are good that you will be hauled off to a hospital against your will and held there for at least three days.  We don't want people committing suicide.  And if you are brain dead, pregnant, and in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator and your family wants to disconnect life support because your situation is hopeless, chances are authorities might try to stop you.  But if you have a serious illness and need regular access to affordable medical care or, God forbid, have been sexually assaulted, you are shit out of luck according to Donald Trump and his fucking bastard cronies in office.  It makes me very sad.  And frankly, it makes me glad I don't have any children who are going to have to live with the aftermath of this disastrous administration.  I weep for the future.

George says, "God does not give a flying fuck about America..."  I'm thinking George is right.  Good luck, America! 


  1. I'm a Democrat. I do not by any means agree with every aspect of the Democratic party platform. At this point, however, I feel that affiliating with the Democratic party is the most efficient way to stop the Republicans from running roughshod over everyone's rights. Perhaps once sanity has returned to this nation, I can consider membership in a party that more accurately reflects my personal ideology, or even can consider being independent. For now, though, it seems as though it's the Republicans against those who are neither insane nor evil, and it seems prudent for the latter group to join forces if only temporarily.

    1. They didn't used to be this way.

    2. i guess not, considering it was once the party of Lincoln (though Lincoln wasn't necessarily everything people now ascribe to him).

    3. Maybe it's because I was so young, but I don't remember Ronald Reagan being this fucked up.


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