Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Short Lived Win

Floor proceedings of the U.S. Senate | According to C-SPAN Video Library, "Video coverage of the debates originating from the chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is in the public domain and as such, may be used without restriction or attribution."
In my last blog I wrote about a possible upcoming vote on the Senate healthcare bill.  Two days after I wrote the blog Republicans pulled the bill from the floor.  This seemed like a win at the time.

However, we were only able to breathe easy for a moment.  Shortly after the bill was pulled, Trump and Republicans shifted their focus from "repeal and replace" to "repeal".

The former repeal and replace approach would have cost 23 million Americans their health coverage.  The new repeal approach ups that to 32 million Americans losing their coverage.  On June 30th Rachel Maddow equated the loss to the entire populations of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine losing their health coverage.  This number is nothing short of insane.

After 9/11 it was estimated that 1 out of every 5 Americans knew someone whose life was altered by the falling of the towers.  That was two towers worth of people.  Now we're talking about 14 states worth of people. Unless you live in an ivy tower, YOU WILL know someone who loses their access to healthcare.  They may lose access to prescription medication, chemotherapy, dialysis, or any one of a number of other treatments keeping them alive and healthy.

I'm not making the argument that Obamacare is ideal.  I know a woman who was kicked off Obamacare when her daughter turned 18 years old.  This woman, who works forty hours a week, can no longer afford doctor visits or her prescriptions.  As a result, her back hurts all the time and she is only able to sleep three hours a night.

Now imagine 32 million more people being put into the same boat.  We would be reducing our country to a population of sick, helpless wretches.  Not only would we be unhealthy, many of the people who are now employed to keep us healthy would lose their jobs.  Unemployment would skyrocket.  It's no exaggeration to say that America would be thrown into chaos.

There are two kinds of people in the world; those who want to be good people and those who don't mind being good as long as it's convenient.  Unfortunately, I fear we are being governed by the latter category.  Those of us who belong to the former category have a responsibility, now more than ever, to make our voices heard.  We need to blog, protest, and keep pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing. We need to make it politically advantageous to do good instead of evil.  We need to pressure lawmakers to repair the holes in ObamaCare instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and leaving millions of people uninsured.

To quote Abraham Lincoln, "The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the last generation. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, our last best hope..." 

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