Here we go again, America!
As the Republicans that are supposed to represent us in the Senate continue to push a huge tax cut to the wealthiest of our fellow Americans, and pay for it on the backs of the rest of America who can’t afford a prolonged illness or even a hospital stay, I thought I’d do a drill down on my own health care situation. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably your situation as well.
I mean, as if not getting to eat a Croissan’wich without crapping your pants and inviting cancer cells into your gut isn’t horrible enough, for those of us with pre-existing conditions that require lifelong care, we’ve got even more reasons to throw up our lunch. You, my readers, are in an incredibly vulnerable position. We are the autoimmune disease crowd, and while treating celiac is not as high cost as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and a myriad of other conditions, we’ll still be screwed if the ACA is repealed and any of these draconian replacements the GOP are throwing at us are instituted. We will be told “no” by insurers or given rates that are unaffordable.
It’s incredibly confusing, as we roll through votes on a number of different amendments, but the bottom line for those of us with celiac disease, or other autoimmune disorders, or hell, any single thing that has ever happened, and may happen in the future—if any of these cuts include caps on what insurance will pay for, or the ability to refuse to cover those of us with pre-existing conditions AT ALL, we’re all looking at a financial burden that will cause us to make impossible decisions.
What I’m panicking about right now as someone with a pre-existing condition:
Having to choose between my health care and my children’s education.
Having to choose between my health care and paying the rent.
Having to choose between my health care and our retirement.
Having to give up health care so all of the above can be taken care of.
Of course, without endoscopy and colonoscopy screening, my retirement could be a non-issue as I die of colon/stomach/small intestine cancer. So that’s the bonus, I suppose.
But there is a best case scenario:
Right now, today, I am incredibly lucky in that my husband’s employer pays for our family’s health insurance with some cost to us. This is amazing, and I’m one of the lucky Americans that will not feel the immediate trauma if the ACA is repealed and/or replaced with something that ignores those of us that need health care the most.
However. At some point I will feel the pinch because:
- My husband may not have this job forever. In fact, it’s incredibly rare in today’s workplace that people do stay at one job until they retire. Today’s great coverage can be gone for us, tomorrow.
- If insurance companies are allowed to cap coverage, even private insurance policies through the workplace will be included. I guaran-damn-tee you that I will hit that cap (as will all of you who are dealing with diseases) long before my kids graduate from college.
My point is, none of us is immune to this snatch and grab by the Republican majority. We will all suffer. We have to make calls, we have to march, we have to stand up and be counted. Our LITERAL LIVES depend upon protecting what little health care benefits we have at this moment thanks to the ACA.
Honestly, I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion. It’s disgusting to me, and I’m feeling so much disappointment in my country right now.
Is the ACA perfect? I think we all know that it is not. But when the current legislative body is STARTING with tax cuts for the very wealthy when considering health care, we know the goal is not to help the majority of Americans who will die or go broke without the proper coverage.
Whether the solution is bolstering the ACA or single payer something has to give. We are ranked as one of the least efficient countries when it comes to health care, which directly affects our life expectancy. What is wrong with our society and the leaders we elect to allow this to continue?
Stand up, my fellow pre-existing conditioners. We must be heard, and we must tell our elected leaders that they will pay, if they take away our health, our family’s future, and vote to hurt us, their constituents.
Let’s do this.