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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Health Care - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Health Care

Yesterday a federal judge declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. His judgement is stayed pending appeals.

It will go to the Supreme Court where the new conservative majority will have the opportunity to rule on it again.

He used the legislation passed last session in grounds, the legislation that repealed the individual mandate as his justification for ruling the entire law unconstitutional. The Supreme Court had previously upheld the law on the grounds that the congress was within its authority to tax the people to fund the bill, through the individual mandate.

Now, having removed the mandate, which the Supreme Court ruled was a tax, Congress lacks the authority to organize our healthcare system and the insurance marketplace in the way that the Affordable Care Act proscribes.

A lot of people depend on this law to provide them with access to care; the elderly and children and the poorest of the poor, especially.

I hate to see it taken away from them, even for a day.

I am not poor.

I do not qualify for financial assistance.

Make no mistake, I am not rich either. I am squarely in the lower middle class.

I am a Veteran, honorably discharged.

I co-own a small 750 square foot condominium, our mortgage and association fees are reasonable.

I lease a vehicle, it costs me $13 a day to drive it.

I have a mountain of student debt. I cannot afford that all, but it is all being managed in the right programs, it is not too much of a burden.

I went to enroll in a health care plan today, and there are no good option. Somewhere in the middle of things I found plans that would cost me, $5,000 a year in premiums. I would have to spend another $4,000 years in deductibles before my plan would start cost sharing with me, and at that point I would only have to pay 15% of the bill for most things.

I am turning 50 in 2019, and there are a lot of tests I would like to take.

I see my therapists once a month, which costs me $150 per visit. In twelve months of visits I would not enough reach the half way mark on my deductible

I might get there quickly if I had an emergency, but then who knows what that would be.

I find it ridiculous, and I am not grateful that I will not have to pay a fine because I am choosing not to enroll in a plan. That does not make me happy at all.

It makes me terribly sad for our broken system.

In the last election cycle the most powerful message the Democratic Party had was centered on health care. They need to drive that message home.

They need to drive it hard.

Medicare for all, single payer, get the insurance industry out of the system, get them out of it all together.

Those rich companies will find other things to insure, other places to invest their dollars, other ways to make money.

They don’t have a right to keep the rest of us poor just in order to protect their profits.

Nothing is more important.

The Trump administration wants to get rid of the ACA, and the courts might just give them what they want.

They will not go to court to defend it.

Republicans all over the country swore up and down that they will protect people’s access to health care, even while they were doing everything they could to dismantle the system and throw everyone onto the mercy of the private market.

Access to health care is not just a good political issue, it is a moral imperative and a vehicle for economic stability for everyone; rich and poor, small businesses and large, entrepreneurs and wage earners, and everyone in between.

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