Guest Editorial, March 12-14, 2014
Ryan Summerlin March 11, 2014
I once knew many Congressional members and was proud to be a part of the legislative process as a Legislative Research Analysis. I later observed the affects of the laws, rules and budgets created by our political leaders as a psychotherapist. I remember Rob Bishop as a new Representative, who seemed to help the citizens of the State. What happened? I heard you sell the wonders of our State Medicaid program and I wondered when was the last time you talked with your constituents or their medical and mental health providers. Medicaid needs your political and financial attention. Let me share four stories and I ask is Medicaid really adequate? Please go back to the people and look again.
No. 1: A young mother with three children fell asleep while driving. The children were seat belted in and not harmed but their mother was paralyzed. She did not qualify for social security disability (They said she never made a contribution to Social Security to withdraw from it. Another system badly damaged by politicians.) So her husband missed days and days of work trying to care for her and the little ones. He soon lost his job and their autos were confiscated. They had no insurance without his employment and they lost their home. A local motel allowed this family to stay for free. They went months before they received any help from Medicaid. You lost this fight as I see it.
No. 2: A family has twins with a terminal genetic disease. Their older cousins with the same disease all died before age 30. Medicaid said they will help with medication until the children get out of high school but wait, Medicaid looked again, and you are not below the poverty level. Medicaid will then give you enough for one child; you can choose which child gets it or give half of the required dosage to each. Choose poverty and get medications or file for bankruptcy when you can no longer pay. Rob is this better than having an option for Insurance that cannot discriminate and deny coverage?
No. 3: A high school girl had an unusual disease which prevented her body from producing strong teeth. She had constant broken teeth and oral infections. Your Party chose to use matching funds for a parking garage rather than help with a dental program. At 18 just before she graduated from high school she was dropped from all Medicaid since she was an adult. Though she had a life long illness without a cure she had to go months without medical care. Rob, can you imagine a young woman going to her graduation and prom without teeth or dentures?
This week a friend who just started Obamacare said, "Do you know this is the first time in 47 years I have been able to afford insurance." She had a $7,000 surgery nine years ago and thought paying $150 a month was paying it off until she found out that with the 18 percent interest she now owes over $26,000. She now pays $130 a month for total coverage with only $500 out of pocket. Rob, can you and the Party match that or pay for another medical bankruptcy?