Healthcare Hell

June 20, 2017

We have now been under the Trump Administration for an unfortunate 6 months, and that includes an unfortunate Republican-majority Congress. Looking on the outside, I think if I were a Trump supporter (I shudder to think) I’d likely be mighty unimpressed by the broken campaign promises, not the least of which is the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.

It is now June 20th, and the “repeal and replace” promise most certainly hasn’t happened. At present, Republicans are working in secret on their most recent plan to repeal and replace the ACA. The last iteration was so bad that even Donald Trump called it “mean.” (CNN). It’s pretty bad when someone mean enough to mock the disabled, refer to women in the most derogatory of terms, and refer to Mexicans as “rapists” thinks that the current healthcare bill is “mean.”

Who, you may ask, is currently deciding the fate of medical care in this country? You guessed it – a panel of 13 male-only Senators (Vox). It is beyond nauseating that women don’t have any voice in the reworking of this bill. Apparently, healthcare for women should be decided by men, since we aren’t capable of representing our own needs. (Kind of like how men decide whether or not women really “need” things like cancer screenings and birth control which is provided by places like Planned Parenthood.)

We simply don’t know what is in the latest bill. We can certainly guess what might be in it, based on previous iterations of the bill and discussions by the white men who decide these things for the rest of the country. The Senate bill is likely to include a lot of things that the House bill included.

The House bill cut $1 Trillion in federal funding for low and moderate-income Americans. Patients with pre-existing conditions would be required to pay more for insurance (unlike under Obamacare). (LA Times). Apparently, if you have anything wrong with you (and that includes myself and basically everyone I ever met) then you aren’t worthy of healthcare in this country. Only the young and healthy are worthy. I never thought I’d agree with anything Donald Trump has to say on anything – ever. But, he’s right – this bill is “mean.”

In a country filled with politicians who claim to be “Christians” and part of the “Religious Right” and so on……I think we need a few reminders from the Bible of what it means to follow Christ’s directives on taking care of the poor.

Matthew 19:21 (NRSV): Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money[a] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Unfortunately, the “Christians” in Congress have forgotten about the Bible and neglected the poor. But, it goes beyond that. Many states have safeguards for the extreme poor (those living at or below the poverty line). But, we do not have any help for people in the middle. The rich can afford healthcare. People with good jobs have healthcare coverage through their employers or through the employers of a partner or spouse. But, what about everyone else? The ACA was supposed to help people who are self-employed, or those who work for employers who don’t provide healthcare coverage. Congress is basically promising to cut coverage for anyone in the middle, and that includes anyone with a “pre-existing condition” which is pretty much everyone. How has Congress forgotten about all of these people? Single Payer – it’s the right thing to do.

Matthew 7:12 (NRSV): In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

“Christians” in Congress – It’s time to start reading your Bibles.

Serve all with love.

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