Affordable Care Act
By Mareze Harris
Marteze Harris #161543
Waupun Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 351
Waupun, Wisconsin 53963
Thursday, March 26, 2012
Yesterday, I talked to my best friend on the phone. Her name is Sandra, and I have blogged about her before. We have always have very spirited and good-natured debates/conversations about a wide range of issues and topics. Yesterday just happened to be about the health care fight going on in this country—and more specifically, in the United States Supreme Court—this week.
And I must explain to those who may not have read my previous blog(s) about Sandra. I love her very much. Where my family has fled to be in my life, when others have disregarded me or just forgotten about me, this beautiful woman has embraced me and loved me unconditionally. I have always been amazed at her spirit, kindness, and compassion. We fight like cats and dogs sometimes, but all in good fun. We agree more than we disagree on a lot of things. However, on health care, we fundamentally disagree on this topic. That is fine, but when I have issues or questions I like to blog about it, so that anybody whom wishes can comment on it. Plus, I just feel like blogging. And by no means do I pretend to have any clue of what I ma blogging about—well, maybe a little, but, hey, I have a blog site and I am going to say what I want! :)
Okay, here goes...
I believe that there are four issues before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Well, they finished up yesterday.
So one issue was: Whether the mandate was constitutional? Can Congress require that all Americans purchase health care?
For me it is as simple as this: they mandate that you buy care insurance.
In order to have a car you want to be insured. Whether it is a state law or federal law, it is basic common sense to have car insurance. Why would you drive without car insurance? If you are hurt in a car accident, you want some protection, right? If you hurt someone in a car accident, you want protection, right? So why not all the hoopla over that? Common sense!
The mandate also spreads the cost of insurance coverage. The more people that have health care insurance, the lower the cost for everybody. Without it, the insurance companies just dump the price tag on those that pay. Car insurance is very low because of all the insurance companies fighting for your business.
Hospitals cannot refuse to treat you if you come into their emergency rooms, and people know this. So why should they pay for it? One woman called into C-Span yesterday and said, "Whenever I feel like going to the hospital, I just go and I don't have insurance." And she is against the mandate because she doesn't need it, so she said. But in the same breath, she says that her family lives on $20,000 a year so they won't be dependent on welfare. What kind of sense does that make? She is a walking contradiction! She won't take welfare, but she will go to the hospital without insurance, won't take health insurance, and is proud to not have health insurance. Your premiums are skyrocketing; insurance companies are making record profits off the backs of a few.
So people say, "Hey, if I need medical attention, they have to see me. So why buy health insurance?" The same Republican politicians tried to pass similar laws in the late '80s and early '90s. Now all of a sudden health care for all is a socialist agenda? Are you serious!?
I know that some people have genuine concerns about what the Affordable Care Act is. Sandra has genuine concerns, but for the people that are using this issue for political mischief—shame on you. Shame on you for not doing what is right for the American people.
Secondly—which really should have been my first argument because it was the first issue that the courts heard on Monday; anyway, I digressed a little bit, sorry—is do the states have the right to challenge the mandate before it is enacted in 2014 (2015)? Obviously the answer was (is) yes. The chief justices on the bench with him. So to shoot down the argument of "Is the mandate affordable now?", it would have been a shot to their party's whole being. Now way this court was not going to hear this case. So that was a given—a no-brainer!
Thirdly: severability. Can you take out the mandate without killing the whole bill? Absolutely, not! How? How do you separate the mandate and not kill the bill? You cripple in a way where it is useless? Without the mandate, you cannot control the cost. Does this conservative court care? No. Politics is the special of the day. I have no faith in this court to do the right thing for the betterment of this country.
Lastly: should Medicaid be expanded to include people whom didn't qualify before? Why not? For those who can't afford the cost of regular health care, why not cover them under Medicaid? What is it that makes people so heartless to the needs and suffering of their fellow person, human being, and American? Why sit back and watch people go bankrupt paying for health care? This is the most prosperous country in the world, the country that American propaganda says every other country wants to be like. Why? This is the only country in the world where its people go bankrupt due to medical bills! What is there to emulate?
There should never be a conversation in any country, but especially in this country, on whether health care is a right or a privilege! Are you serious? A right or a privilege! What nonsense!
Of course health care is the right of every American to be able to have affordable and excellent health care. How can anybody think health care is the privilege of a certain few? What do rich people think as the people will go hungry, homeless, and without health care while you sit in your guarded communities? Why don't you ask the British? Once they saw their precious tea going in the river, they figured it out—but by then, the people had had enough. If this country continues to go in the direction that it is, then it will be just as divided as during the Civil War.
I have no idea if the Affordable Care Act is a perfect bill and I don't believe it is. However, you do not repeal the entire law. You make changes to it as needed. No law is perfect, and there are 350 million people in this country. There is no way to appease everyone. But as Americans, you must sit back and think: Can this law help millions of my fellow Americans to have more affordable health care so that they won't go bankrupt? Don't think about yourself or greed. If your fellow man is healthy, then that is good for the country.
I know that change is hard to come by and, when it does, we are reluctant to embrace it. Because we have no clue what it is. But sometimes, we have to be willing to embrace change. Otherwise we become stagnant and stuck in a rut.
Constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act should not even be at question. Congress has the authority to regulate commerce, the Constitution is clear on this. Congress must have the authority to bring money into the coffers and it is not much different than when the Republicans tried to pass similar laws. And even in this state of Massachusetts, they did pass the same law.
I hope that this country can find peace with itself. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, we must all live in this country together as neighbors, friends, and family. We must survive as a country, all of us as one.
In June, The country will watch and see if this court under conservative control has a heart to do what is right for the country. And I tell you now—do not be surprised if this law is overturned, either in part or in full. I have no faith in the justice system.
May God bless and keep you well. Until next time. I leave you all in peace.
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