Yeah, you read that right. Although we are definitely still waiting on the verdict to come back from CBO (Congressional Budget Office) to see just how many more people will lose healthcare coverage under this new plan, make no mistake, that 24 million will go up. Why? Because, in order to strike a deal with hardliner Republicans who think poor people are lazy moochers and should just die, the GOP managed to cut even more protections for patients from the bill. After all, you can’t secure the the approval of the Freedom Caucus unless you are willing to put enough lower income citizens up for sacrifice to praise their one true god: money. The Republicans have chosen to nix protections for preexisting conditions in the new and improved legislation.
These preexisting conditions were only scarcely protected before. If, for any reason, an individual experienced a lapse in healthcare coverage for two months, or more, that protection would be permanently stripped from them. That, along with increased premiums as a punishment for lapsed coverage, would only insure one thing: the people who need health coverage the most would be the least likely to have it.
But now, in a stroke of population control genius, the Republican Party (who has disdain for the mediocrity of the middle class and absolute hatred of the poor) want to replace the Affordable Care Act with a gutted version of Trumpcare. It took talent to find consumer protections in the first version, but a soul truly devoid of empathy can sniff out even the tiniest hint of compassion and obliterate it.
All the while, Trump is in complete disconnect. He obviously has not read the Republican hit list against the low and middle income disguised as a plan for healthcare. In Trump’s recent 100 Day interview with Face the Nation, he appeared to have no idea what was in the bill, falsely claiming that the new legislation addressed the concerns of the first one, like preexisting conditions and premium hikes for the poor and elderly. Unless, of course, he was only discussing the Freedom Caucus’ concerns. That would explain a lot.
But, in a rare, honest moment, Trump’s empathy with the people regarding their healthcare concerns, shone through in all its flickering brilliance. In the Dickerson interview, Trump summed up exactly how important your healthcare is to him.
“LOOK, IF YOU HURT YOUR KNEE, HONESTLY, I’D RATHER HAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOCUS ON NORTH KOREA, FOCUS ON OTHER THINGS THAN YOUR KNEE OR THAN YOUR BACK, AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR BACK IS. I WOULD MUCH RATHER SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOCUSED ON OTHER THINGS.”
So, basically, your knee, your back, your asthma, your high blood pressure, your cancer, your epilepsy, your high cholesterol, your depression, your rheumatoid arthritis, your HIV/AIDS, your emphysema, heart disease, osteoporosis, lupus, stroke, arterial disease, liver disease, kidney disease, stomach ulcers, blood disorders, congenital birth defects, brain trauma, neural disorders and illnesses, infectious diseases, STD’s, Hepatitis (in all its forms), and pretty much anything you have ever been treated for and any chronic condition which you may develop, should be less important to you than North Korea. You should willingly give up your insurance and just die because Trump says it isn’t really that important in the scope of his reality. But here is my question to Trumpaloompa and his orange sycophants: If North Korea is so much more important, then why are you taking all this time, effort and resources to dismantle a working system of healthcare instead of making sure the Federal Government is, “…focused on other [more important] things.”
In the end, I think I really know what this is all about. It is retribution. This is a vendetta against the poor and working Americans which the GOP see as responsible for electing Obama in the first place. They are being punished for their dream of a better future and their audacity for considering themselves equals. This repeal is about the GOP’s push to once again subjugate those they see as less worthy, bring them under a measure of control and distract them with their own misery.
As has become the course, week in and week out, through this administration of extreme Right agenda, we have to fight. I know you are tired. I’m exhausted. I sit at my computer every day, sifting through what feels like some alternate reality I fell into. We’ve been marching, writing letters and articles, calling senators and congressmen, hoisting flags, carrying signs, speaking out on every venue possible, against so many attacks on our beautiful, inclusive, equal and diverse hope for the country. We are fighting to protect even basic rights guaranteed by our constitution: something I could never have imagined. We are fighting for environmental protections because somehow cleanliness is a liberal conspiracy. We are fighting for even basic religious freedom, as in, the freedom to not be Christian. We are fighting for freaking science. Science, for crying out loud. How do people even deny science? It is lunacy. We are fighting for LGBT rights, because, yeah, they are people, just like everyone else. How can a segment of people be isolated from the same freedoms as everyone else simply because of who they love? We are fighting, again, for autonomy over our own bodies, to be able to choose when, if or the manner of reproduction. It goes far beyond abortion, to include contraception and even defending reproductive procedures such as en vitro fertilization. We are fighting against a police state, where officers are allowed to violate civil rights and even murder citizens. We are fighting against legal election rigging by gerrymandering. We are fighting for our right to assemble and speak out. We are actually having to fight against white supremacists. Think about that. We are fighting for reasonable access to healthcare. We are fighting for our immigrants, because almost every one of us is an immigrant. We wake up every day afraid to see the news, literally and genuinely worried about the potential of not only war, but nuclear war. That is a thing again. We are fighting and fighting and fighting. And we are exhausted.
But we must be more than our opponents’ equal. We must be willing to spend more energy, fight longer, fight harder and fight smarter. It is far easier to destroy something than it is to build, that is their advantage. Yet, it is also easier to protect what we have than to rebuild out of its destruction. So, as difficult as this fight is, we must persevere. We must continue. And here, on healthcare, is another fight. If we win this, we pave a shorter road towards single payer which would finally secure healthcare as a human right and ensure coverage for all. The goal here is a worthy one: so people don’t die needlessly in one of the wealthiest countries on earth. Healthcare is a human right. Fight on.
We are One Woman, One World.
Ann Lavendar Truong
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