58. Health

for-profit medicine

It is 58 days until the next U.S. congressional midterm election.

Why am I bugging you – for the 43rd consecutive day now – to make sure you’re registered to vote and then to help elect more Democrats this fall?

There are many reasons I’ve mentioned before, often more than once. To answer my question, though, I’m going with healthcare.

President Obama in no way was able to “fix” healthcare, but the Affordable Care Act that he dragged out of Congress made some good inroads. It was a first step, but Republicans are trying to tear it down.

I was doing some looking around for possible places to work next summer and saw something like this on the page of an employer: “XYZ will provide healthcare benefits to new employees as is required by the Affordable Care Act.” In other words, I read between the lines, there may be no such offer without ACA.

Republicans are doing all they can to return us to the days where more and more people cannot afford insurance and where they sometimes cannot afford the copay even if they do have insurance. It is disgusting how many Americans file for bankruptcy because of medical costs.

medically bankruptAccording to this Forbes article last month, a third of the fund-raising campaigns on GoFundMe are to cover medical costs. GoFundMe runs 250,000 medical campaigns – an average of almost 700 a day – that raise $650 million each year.

Currently, some states are trying to relax ACA guidelines, the most ominous effort being doing away with a requirement that insurance companies provide coverage of pre-existing conditions. That hits home for a lot of people.

I had bladder cancer seven years ago. It was successfully removed and hasn’t come back, but if I had to change policies and another tumor arose … there’s a good chance the surgery would not be covered, and we would face some tough decisions.

The solution includes considering healthcare a human right, not something only wealthy people can receive. It means removing the for-profit aspect of the industry. Universal health care can be done; dozens of countries are doing it successfully right now.

It will be difficult to make that happen, but nothing is changing if we don’t break the Republican stranglehold on progress.

And that, my friend, is one reason you owe it to yourself, your family and your country to make sure you’re registered to vote and then help put more Democrats in office this fall.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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