Conservatives Get Sick Too
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, I had no understanding of healthcare. I didn’t understand what an individual mandate was or why we needed it.
My education about the American healthcare system was accidental. I never concerned myself with health insurance because I’ve been lucky health-wise. This wasn’t true with other members of my family. My mother died at 46 from heart disease and my father died last year from prostate cancer.
There is nothing more distressing than seeing the person who raised you transform from healthy to a skeleton. I remember seeing my father writhing in pain, but refusing to see a doctor because he thought they were more concerned about treatment payment than keeping him alive.
During that period, I spent hours with administrators dealing with paperwork that I didn’t understand. In other industrialized nations such as France or Great Britain, a patient can walk in and be seen immediately. In America, you have to file paperwork before doctors will even see you.
I used to believe doctors weren’t in it for the money, but after witnessing my father’s suffering I am no longer a neophyte. Many doctors turned my dad away because he didn’t have the right medical coverage. If they did see him, they weren’t suggesting treatment, but prescriptions to ease the pain.
Our healthcare system has turned away from morals. Instead, it’s a breeding ground for special interests who care more about protecting their bottom line than aiding the sick and infirmed.
I consider myself a conservative and a Christian. I believe in American values such as hard work, personal responsibility and tough love. Although I believe these values are vital, I also believe in compassion for those who are unable to help themselves.
On March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments on the King v. Burwell case, where the plaintiffs argued that the ACA prohibits the federal government from intervening in states that did not set up exchanges.
The federal government provides subsidies such as cost-sharing reductions and tax credits to people who live in states that did not set up state-managed insurance marketplaces.
“If the Supreme court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, millions of people will lose their Health Insurance subsidies and would no longer be able to afford health Insurance,” Health and Human Service Secretary Sylvia Burwell told Republican leaders.
Although conservatives have vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Republicans haven’t specified an alternative plan.
I’m not for socialized medicine, but I don’t want to go back to the days of pre-existing conditions either. What these far-right kooks are doing is perpetuating a system that both Democrats, as well as some Republicans, acknowledge is broken.
The Tea Party is selling craziness as conservatism when it comes to our nation’s health care. Healthcare shouldn’t be politicized, it’s something we all need. Although I feel sickened by what the conservatives are doing, it’s more egregious that after almost four years, Democrats have poorly implemented Obamacare and made little coherent defenses against relentless right-wing assaults for its repeal.
There are many things wrong with Obamacare, but repealing is the talk of crackpots. Our nation needs to discard the motive of profit in our healthcare system and replace it with humanity.
We will all use the healthcare system eventually. In a country as rich as ours, everyone, Republican or Democrat, should spend their last days dying with dignity, without the added stress of worrying about high medical costs.