Health Care

Amount premiums can go up for pre-existing conditions if states waive (opt out of) pre-existing condition coverage.

It’s rare that I write a wholly political post. And frankly, I wish this topic didn’t even enter the realm of politics. Unfortunately, it does because of statements like former Republican Representative and radio talk show host Joe Walsh’s tweet in response to Jimmy Kimmel’s1 recent story about his newborn son’s heart condition: “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.” Yes, babies born with a disease are considered people with pre-existing conditions.

So I begin with this question: Are all Americans entitled to free or affordable health care which covers basic health services and pre-existing conditions? Think about babies born with heart conditions, like Jimmy Kimmel’s son. And see the Drug Dependence figure there? Think about babies born addicted to drugs.

About 1 in 10 babies born in the main hospital in Huntington, W.Va., are born addicted to heroin or some other opiate. CNN, which highlighted this estimate in December, wrote: “[I]t is their shrill screams that caretakers find so heart-wrenching.” Think about that for a moment: If you walked through the maternity wing in this white, working-class town of 50,000 people, every tenth baby is going through withdrawal — many from drugs no one was even talking about a decade or so ago. Mike Allen, Axios.com

The conundrum of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is that it presumes Americans will be able to afford health insurance, which most Americans cannot. When the proponents of the bill say, “affordable,” they imply there will be an affordable insurance option for us all. This relies on the American people inferring their care will be affordable – an unfortunate misunderstanding. Because the truth is, the less health care coverage we have, the more affordable the insurance will be. Just like our car insurance.

Health care must be a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it. This is a country teeming with riches, engorged with abundance. Capitalism is an economic system of private enterprise; it does not exist in a bubble of greed nor exclusion of those in need. It is not a contradiction in terms to be a capitalist country and a compassionate one. They are not mutually exclusive.

And for those in the House of Representatives who identify as Christians, it should be all the more imperative to embrace those two terms concurrently if you, as Christ urged, embrace Matthew 25:35-40.

The high risk pool the Republicans talk about that will purportedly cover those whose States use the waiver will not cover the costs of opting out of pre-existing condition coverage.

 

 

Before the Affordable Care Act was passed, people were uninsured because it was unaffordable, which made basic health care unaffordable. Employers only covered what States prescribed. That is why the federal Affordable Care Act was born.

The American Cancer Society, The Academy of Pediatrics, The American Lung Association, The Heart Association, The Diabetes Association, the AMA, the March of Dimes all oppose this bill.

Health care must be a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it. It is not a contradiction in terms to be a capitalist country and a compassionate one. They are not mutually exclusive.

The United States ranks eleventh after the top ten developed nations in providing health care for its citizens. The average amount other developed countries pay per person for health care is $3,814. The United States pays $9,451. The top ten countries offer universal health care; the United States is the only one who attempts to offer market-based health care. Which of these is not like the other?

In addition, we rank only 5th of 11 in quality of care, 9th in accessibility of care, 11th in efficiency of care, and 11th in equity of care.2

Instead of trying to regulate health care, why doesn’t Congress act where it will do the most good, and regulate the insurance industry?

 

For believers, see a related post: Spiritual Things with Eric.

1If you are one of the few who hasn’t seen Kimmel’s revelation, take 13 minutes out of your life and watch:

 

 

2Source: Commonwealth Fund. Top ten countries in ascending order – Switzerland, Japan, Austria (compulsory, free healthcare for all citizens; residents can chose to buy private healthcare packages if they can afford it.), San Marino (same as Austria; in addition The World Health Organization ranked San Marino as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world.), England, Singapore, Malta (modeled after England), Andorra (modeled after France), Italy, France.

11 comments

  1. “Instead of trying to regulate health care, why doesn’t Congress act where it will do the most good, and regulate the insurance industry?”

    Amen, Susan. And I would add, the legal system, which makes insurance so high. Also, do something about big pharma and the ridiculously high cost of drugs (they also strong arm the industry to keep natural cures out of the marketplace because they don’t profit from them.)

    I know healthcare is a very complex system and not easy to fix, but I agree with Kimmel, let’s stop with the partisan nonsense and solve the problem for everyone.

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    1. Absolutely, Mel. Even though our president said he would remove lobbyists, they still exist, and still strong-arm our legislators into voting in their favor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post. ❤

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    1. Thank you – and this is a great need. ❤

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  3. Oh, Susan, this story gives me HOPE that your medical system is coming together and healing the brokenness. Thank you for this most important post. I am an RN and I know what it feels like to be involved in life saving events, yet due to how bad our medical system has become I honestly won’t practice as an RN. Perhaps one day that will change. Much Love to you! ❤

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    1. Thanks, Amy. I continue to pray and be vocal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This story reminded me of the many times I as a nurse and others who I worked with observed things doctors overlooked. A great nurse is invaluable when it comes to patient care. Truly I miss my “calling”. But I don’t miss the system.

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  4. […] Just an hour before writing this blog, I emailed my Senator, you should do so as well. Be an advocate with your fellow citizens. Speak out in whatever medium you have, whether it is a blog, a classroom, a pulpit, a news article, etc. your voice matters, my voice matters. I stand with Jesus, the Social justice advocate. Will you join me? Edit*: also, if you want to here another voice that looks at this from a different angle, check out Susan’s blog post here […]

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    1. Thank you for adding your grace-filled voice to this issue! ❤

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  5. Well written Susan! I stand with you! As a Christian one of our main concerns is the shared common life that we have with our fellow human beings, and politics directly influences that. I thank you for your words. This bill is t fully passed yet. We have time to use our voices to oppose this bill!

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    1. “As a Christian one of our main concerns is the shared common life that we have with our fellow human beings,”
      Well said, Eric. Honestly, I think this mind set is really all about grace, and why we find it so difficult to extend grace to others. When we cannot comprehend God’s unconditional grace, it is impossible for us to extend it to anyone else.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and add your comments and call to action.

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