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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

On Health Care: Republicans Just Never Seem To Get It

Category: Health Care
Posted: 03/23/17 22:13

by Dave Mindeman

Well, the Republicans failed in the first attempt to pass this horrendous health care bill. They will be coming back, and maybe they can squeeze it through, but it has a tough road ahead.

Republicans seem to miss the point when it comes to health care. The whole point. They seem to assume that people are upset about the mandate requiring the purchase of a health care policy. And yes, there are a few.

But here is the issue. People need to have health care. Most people realize it and those that don't will, at some point, end up needing it regardless, because nobody can live forever.

One of the things that the ACA addressed was the costly emergency room health care that hospitals had to endure. They can't and won't turn people away who do not have insurance. Those bills were killing hospitals...especially the rural ones. They had huge write offs and they were forced to spread that cost around to everyone else. And those costs have been affecting premiums for everybody.

Republicans want to go back to that.

And then there is the mandatory coverages. Yeah, it seems absurd that maternity leave would be required in a policy for older women...or men for that matter. But for those families that want kids, should they be burdened by higher specialty premiums? Should women always have higher costs than men? Should older people have 5 times more costs than everyone else? Should people with disabilities and special needs children be left to the "marketplace"?

Republicans support doing those things.

And then there is mental health and addiction recovery programs. The Republicans think that is a luxury item. That people who need those things need to pay the additional coverage costs. Republicans act as though society as a whole does not have a stake in people that are victimized getting the help they need. Mentally ill people are involved in gun violence. They can adversely affect law enforcement needs. Opioid addiction has crime costs. People die from overdose. And the loss of work time is hard to even measure.

Republicans don't care about that.

Health care is needed. It is an unwritten right. It is gross negligence for the government to not deal with this on a societal basis - like every other western democracy in the free world does. The Republican bill keeps a few of the ACA mechanics - but not nearly enough of them. Millions will opt out of coverage or just plain lose it; especially the poor and most sick. We will be ignoring the very reason we worked so hard to get the ACA in place. Health care is a very basic economic and personal function.

And Republicans work against these very basic needs.
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