While some Republican senators are meeting in closed committee sessions, considering whether and how to revise the House passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), other U.S. Senators, mostly Democrats and a few Republicans, are expressing frustration at having no information about what is being considered. The full Senate is expected to vote on its version of the health care bill by July 4, 2017. One can only hope the Senators have a chance to read the entire bill before they vote on it.
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking that 100 years from now, when future citizens of this country look back at this era, I’m thinking they will think that we had a very cruel health care system –- in much the same way as we now look back at the era of slavery and think it was a cruel system. From the vantage point of history, slavery is not even debated. It is universally agreed that it is one of the cruelest human rights abuses there is. Yet, in the 1860s, our country was terribly divided, and went to war over the issue of slavery. In the U.S. Civil War, 620,000 soldiers died. In comparison, 644,000 U.S. soldiers have died in all other conflicts.* What a horrific and nightmarish way to resolve a policy conflict!!
Yet, really think about it, isn’t it strange that under the House passed AHCA we are willing to let 23 million Americans go without access to something as basic and essential to human beings as health care. If health care is only for those people who can afford it, it seems like a predatory system. Under the AHCA, insurance rates for the elderly will increase by as much as 5 times, at a time when many can no longer work and are becoming physically frail and vulnerable and in need of more health care; people with pre-existing conditions will also be paying more; and poor Americans will have no health care because Medicaid will be mostly de-funded!
Now consider this: every month Harper’s Magazine
publishes the “Harper’s Index” composed of unusual or little known facts. Here’s one from the July, 2017 issue: “Estimated amount of U.S. public funds that have been invested in N.F.L. stadiums since 1996: $6,700,000,000. (That’s 6 Billion, 700 hundred million dollars.)*
Isn’t it strange that as a society we don’t mind spending public funds on NFL football stadiums, but balk at spending public funds on health care for the poor, elderly and sick. Think about that next time you are rooting for your favorite football team! I think our values are screwed up!
Finally, Bernie Sanders was interviewed by Rachel Martin this morning on NPR's "Morning Edition". Here’s the link in case you want to hear what he had to say.http://www.npr.org/2017/0...-obamacare