We haven’t won yet

Photo by the Washington Post.
The Senate will try again to take away our health care. Stay focused.

Our radical legislators are not done trying to take away our access to health care.

The Senate version of Trumpcare would leave much of the structure of the Affordable Care Act in place, but it would remove all the protections and many of the subsidies.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates some 22 million people would lose coverage, and with it, their access to health care.

It gets worse. The bill would effectively dismantle Medicaid, much of which would happen after the 10-year time limit of the CBO’s assessment, so it isn’t obvious.

I don’t know how to teach these people that human life should matter more than making a political point.

I don’t know how to get it through to them that no human being deserves to die the way my son did, and that to be pro-life, one has to support life after it exits the birth canal.

I’ve been away visiting family for the last two weeks, and unable to get to the protests and other actions surrounding this issue. I needed the break because I’m so exhausted from trying to get through to these people and being blown off, arrested and/or ridiculed as some kind of fringe maniac.

That’s part of how they convince people to vote against their own best interests — they vilify opponents. They don’t treat anyone who disagrees with them with any respect, as though anyone would be crazy to disagree with them.

The occupant of the White House screams that all the media are corrupt and calls anything other than what he wants you to hear “fake news.”

They tell us that we should fear Muslims, even though we are immensely more likely to be killed by a white man with a legal gun.

They tell us they shouldn’t have to pay their fair share of taxes and that we the people don’t deserve to make enough to live on, that anyone who wants anything from government is a “taker.”

When I tell these right-wing radicals how my son died, their first question isn’t, “How can something like this happen in 21st century America?” but “Was he working?”

What kind of a question is that? Was he working?

Since when did unemployment become punishable by death?

And while we’re on the subject of the death penalty, I’m heartsick over the release of police officers who killed three black people. On video. For no reason other than, “I was scared.”

Sorry, buddy, you’re the cop. You’re the one with the training. You just pulled him over for a minor violation. You need to remember that a minor violation is in no way punishable by death under our penal code, and you are the one given the responsibility for upholding those penal codes.

But we’re distracted when we’re told that the kid might just have stolen some cigars, or there was the smell of marijuana in his car. Oh, so the cop was just defending himself against, what? A petty thief? A minor drug offender?

It’s what they’re trying to do with health care: Convince us that poor people can just get a job to get health insurance. But when 22 million of us face the loss of access to care, we begin to have enough numbers to call them on their bullshit.

Then we hear the dangerous stories like that of my son, an honest, hardworking, decent, smart, funny man, who died because a birth defect was a pre-existing condition and he could be denied insurance coverage because of that.

We hear about the young woman sent home after an auto accident, not admitted because, even though she had a head injury and should have been admitted for observation, she had no insurance. She died in the night.

We hear about the woman with Type 2 diabetes who can’t afford her glucose testing supplies because she doesn’t have insurance. Her blood glucose goes out of control, and even though she’s trying to manage with diet and exercise, she has no idea whether it’s working. One day while at work, she collapses. She’s had a devastating stroke and now lives, completely disabled, in a nursing home, where Medicaid pays about $180,000 a year for her care. Her grandchildren will never know the woman she was.

When you throw 22 million people off of health care, when you attack a program that pays the nursing home bills for little old ladies with disabilities, when the infant mortality rate climbs high enough, people start to notice.

They will be back with this bill. They will not give up.

We have to be vigilant.

We have to look away from the sparkly wee-hours-from-the-bathroom tweet from #45 and remember that they’re coming for our health care.

They’re coming for our health care.

 

 

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