Guest editorial: Republicans are letting egos block responsible health care plan
October 14, 2017
Last July my son and his family went to Europe for a two-week vacation. While in a hotel in Rome, his daughter became ill with seizure-like symptoms. The hotel staff immediately called for the paramedics and she was hurriedly admitted to a local hospital for a brain scan. After a mandatory one-day observation stay, she was released back to the care of her parents. The hospital costs for diagnosis and treatment was zero. Yes, that is correct. My son did not have to pay anything for her care. The Italian health care system even covers foreigners!
Universal health care for citizens living in European and Western democratic countries is basically free. These countries consider it a right for every citizen to have access to affordable health care for life. So the question remains: Why does America, the richest country in the world, have the worst and most expensive health care coverage for its citizens?"
As you well know, Republican legislators have for seven years vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Recently, they were so divided amongst themselves that they failed to come up with a bill in the Senate that would improve individual health care coverage for a lower cost and, at the same time, cover more citizens. However, in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senators Graham and Cassidy proposed a bill that would essential transfer the responsibility of administering a health-care program from the federal government to the states.
Why the urgency now after previous failed attempts? In order to pass the bill, it had to 51 yes votes by the Senate Republicans before Sept. 30 voting provision expired.
Unfortunately for millions of needy citizens presently on Medicaid, under this bill they would eventually lose their health care coverage due to Federal Tax Reform priorities. In addition, the bill does not make provisions for prior debilitating aliments, thus allowing insurance companies the right to reject individual health care applications or require higher insurance premiums for those with prior physical conditions.
Why are the Republicans so obsessed with having to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? Is it because they originally refused to participate in the discussion and drafting of the ACA bill and therefore do not have ownership in the health care plan? Why does Republican leadership consistently turn down the efforts of Democrats to work together in a bipartisan manner to fix the financial weaknesses of Obamacare? Is it because they want to reinvent the wheel and their egos prohibit them from accepting the ACA plan as being worthy? A plan that is presently very popular with the majority of Americans. Why are Republicans so determined to make health care a privilege for those who can afford it? Is it because they have always been prone to consider corporate America over individual needs?
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If most of the civilized world considers affordable health care a right for all citizens rather than a privilege, should not Americans be given the same humane health care consideration as the rest of the world?