This November’s presidential election is about whether or not we continue with efforts to create an inclusive society. If Republicans win the White House, we might as well require the purchase of a one million dollar passport simply to enter the space between the White house and the Capitol Building.
Obama has not been the leader that many of us had hoped for, but he has accomplished a lot in four years. He has been a major disappointment on the military/security front, but he did get a health care reform bill passed and he did save this country from complete economic devastation.
A lot is at stake on a number of fronts including health care, immigration and the economy. The health care bill that passed on March 23, 2010 was not as sweeping as many of us had wanted but it did do a lot of good things. It’s worth reminding people what we now have.
The bill changes the way insurance companies operate and that is no small thing. It means that in 2014 people will no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. It means that if you have been treated for cancer in the past or if you are being treated now, that your insurance company cannot drop you or deny coverage.
There will no longer be lifetime limits on the amount of health insurance available to you. Many policies have limits of $1 million. That may sound like a lot of money, but when you have a disease such as cancer or any of a host of
If you want to see what lifetime limits mean to real people check out a video posted by the United Steelworkers on You Tube titled, "Affordable Care Act: Hope Delivered for USW Families."
It is sad that we even had to pass a bill to protect us from the insurance companies. It is such a bizarre situation when you consider that we pay thousands of dollars of year to companies to help provide health insurance and then they try to weasel out of that agreement at every turn. That is why we need legal protection from them.
If Romney is elected he will try to eliminate these new protections. He thinks that the health care reform bill is bad for America because he does not want to see all of his rich buddies, including insurance company CEOs, lose one penny of their profits.
In Romney’s world, the government should have no say in the provision of health care because he believes that the insurance companies will do the right thing and take care of their policyholders. He lives in a protected world and he doesn’t have a clue what it might be like for someone who is halfway through treatment for breast cancer and has to stop because their insurance company denied coverage or raised the rates so high they could not afford them.
In Romney’s world, health care is something you earn because you have worked hard enough to save enough money to buy insurance. He thinks that government should only provide health care to the poorest of the poor and that everyone else should fend for themselves. That?s how we lived in this country until 1965, but we saw too many elderly and disabled people dying and suffering so we created the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In Romney’s world, Medicare and Medicaid would be turned into voucher programs. That is really code for eliminating these programs. The Republicans don’t want to waste their "hard-earned" money on Americans who are poor or who have been unlucky enough to be cursed with tainted genes. If they cannot afford to buy insurance on the open market then let them suffer and die.
A voucher means that the government would decide how much money they would give people to buy insurance in the private market. Medicare and Medicaid as we know it would eventually be replaced by this voucher system and we would all be at the mercy of a less regulated health insurance industry. If you want to see how that would play out watch another You Tube video titled, "If airlines worked like health care" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J67xJKpB6c).
In Romney’s world, the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid would make us that much more of a Darwinian society. I don’t want to live in that world. I can’t afford it and neither can most of the rest of us.
Richard Davis is a registered nurse and executive director of Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health. He writes from Guilford and welcomes comments at email@example.com.