WHEN DID HEALTH CARE BECOME A POLITICAL ISSUE, RATHER THAN A MORAL ONE?

President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, was designed to provide health insurance for poor Americans who could not afford it.  Many people already have health insurance through employer-sponsored programs, or through Medicare, for Senior Citizens.  Small businesses, however, often do not offer insurance, and minimum-wage workers cannot afford it anyway.  Uninsured Americans were just left to fend for themselves and, of course, private insurance has always been quite expensive.

The Affordable Care Act provide subsidies for poor Americans, including seniors who could not even afford Medicare, and to extend the Medicaid program to more low-income citizens.   Many GOP-controlled states, such as Florida and Texas, have not accepted the Extended Medicaid, even though the Federal Government picks-up most of the cost for the first ten years.

Prior to ACA, cheap health insurance policies, designed for young adults, excluded “pre-existing conditions”, and even maternity was often excluded for young women. For older Americans, the premiums were exorbitant, and out of reach for many.  Policy holders took comfort in being “insured”; however, they didn’t realize how little the policies actually covered—that is, until they became sick or injured!

The total number of previously uninsured Americans, who were able to buy subsidized health insurance, through ACA, approaches 30 million, when the 11 million covered by the Medicaid Extension is included.  Many state Legislatures, that have Republican majorities, have not even allowed their Insurance Commissioners to negotiate for lower premiums, with the insurers.  Basically, those states were working against ACA—and against their own residents.

ACA was assumed to be the first step in providing Affordable Health Care for all Americans.  Like Medicare, some 50 years before, this comprehensive program was expected to need to be amended and modified over time.  But the Republicans, at the Federal and State levels, just fought against the program every step of the way.

TChe Affordable Care Act also required the Health Insurance Industry to meet certain goals:  pre-existing conditions would be covered; contraceptives and maternity must be included for women; equal premiums for males and females; premiums for the elderly could not be more than three times those paid by the younger insured; and no more than 20% of customer premiums would go toward expenses.  Many of these requirements have been dropped, or watered down, under the GOP’s AHCA.

When people do not have health insurance, they only seek medical assistance when they are gravely sick or injured, generally at hospital Emergency Rooms.  By then, the medical condition is usually more aggravated, and the medical personnel are working without any knowledge of the patient’s medical history.   The cost of health care, in this advanced stage, is normally much more expensive, and society and the hospitals bear the expense.

The most humane, as well as the most cost-effective, way to address the need for Affordable Health Care, is to make it available on a regular preventive basis.  Should we ignore the grievously sick, and allow them to die on the streets?  Do we continue to just ignore the overall costs—assuming that they will just go away?   Realistically, we should take pre-emptive action!

Among all of the world’s industrialized nations, American spends the most on health care; but, it gets the lowest return on its investment, by most every metric.  Is this how we wish to continue on?  Should we address the need for providing Health Care for all, in a caring and effective manner?   Or do we, as a Nation, just continue to sink. further and further into the bowels of Humanity.

NOTE:  I was wondering who Donald Trump would try to make the scapegoat when his first foray into major legislation had to be canceled twice, for insufficient support.  Would it be House Speaker Paul Ryan or the entire GOP?  No, he blamed the Democratic Party since they were perfectly happy with the ACA, which they passed seven years ago!   Next stop: Trump’s Tax Scam!

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  1. #1 by andrepartridge on March 28, 2017 - 9:30 AM

    Good morning, I have read through all three of your latest posts about Trump, it is a great insight into the American Politics – a thoroughly enjoyable read. Thank you for your insight. Speak soon!

    • #2 by cheekos on March 28, 2017 - 6:01 PM

      Thank you very much, Mr. Partridge, Trump’s latest idiotic idea appears to be appointing his 36 year-old sin-in-law Jared Kushner, to re-organize the Federal Government. Donald believe that Kushner is Clark Kent, and ready to leap over tall buildings at a single bound!

      Several months ago, he appointed Jared as his Special Emissary to bring Peace to Palestine. He and Steve Bannon, Trump’s political guru, had been involved in useless negotiations in Latin America. And, just to let him fill-up his work day, he is Donald’s man with regard to Canada and China. Oh, let’s not forget that he also met with Russian Officials.

      I have nothing against the 36 year5-old man; but, I do have problems with the lunacy of the 70 year old idiot in the family. And poor Rex Tillerson, needs to visit Donald’s office for photo-ops just to pass the time away.

      Thanks again, and keep us posted on Brexit!

      • #3 by andrepartridge on March 29, 2017 - 2:05 PM

        It sounds extremely nonsensical and a ‘shoot from the hip’ approach to modern day politics. I will keep you informed. May has triggered the Brexit process this morning and interestingly the Pound has gained on the Euro. Maybe the UK will become a tax haven?! Ultimately the feel is still a sore one for majority of people when it comes to Brexit. The vote out group have finally realised that this will drive an increase into the cost of importing goods, and no money at all going into our health service. The blind leading the blind comes to mind. Ultimately our discussions for trade are based on hearsay and our businesses are currently strategically planning using a ‘what if’ and a worse case scenario agenda! All fun and games!
        I look forward to reading more of yours posts. Speak soon!

      • #4 by cheekos on March 29, 2017 - 2:36 PM

        Andrew, something that I realized a long, long time ago is that the financial markets often respond to bad news better than they do to uncertainty. That’s because they can respond to what is known, however bad, but they would be flying blind with uncertainty.

        The GBP pound had initially dropped by a fair amount. More recently, however, as it became obvious that Mrs. May was going to abide by the initial referendum–even though Parliament was not required to do so–the Pound has meandered up by a bit.

        All in all, however, some retail prices, such as food, as I understand it, had already risen–vs. the drop in the GBP-to-Euro conversion rate. THE BOE and Exchequer, no doubt, are preparing for some long nights. CHEEKOS.

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