Last year, I posted that I mainly wanted to see President Obama reelected to ensure that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, took effect on schedule in 2014. I said that I had family members who would potentially benefit from the program. This need has grown tremendously in the past couple of months.
One of my older brothers was diagnosed with a serious ailment. It’s the sort of thing that stops the presses, halts all activity. It’s the sort of thing that in pre-ACA days would have meant no coverage because now my brother is shackled with a “preexisting condition.” It’s the sort of thing that nightmares are made of. All in all, he’s doing OK. The treatments are working, his strength is holding firm, though there is more to come.
It’s a good thing he lives in California. If he lived anywhere else, his healthcare options might be severely limited (i.e., non-existant). But California already has a robust Medicare program, MediCal, which he is old enough to take advantage of. And California is a full-on participant of the Affordable Care Act. In a week from today, folks will be able to start signing up for the health exchanges, shopping for health insurance. Some folks will be eligible for Medicare. Others will be able to get private insurance at a highly subsidized rate. Folks like my brother, who have serious illnesses, will be able to get the care that they need to survive, perhaps for the first time in their lives. As Vice President Joe Biden said, this is fucking huge.
Ted Cruz doesn’t care about my brother. Ted Cruz doesn’t care about anyone with problems. He wants them to go away. Even his fellow Republicans have started to shy away from him, but really they all seem to be cut from the same cloth. In some areas, the Koch Brothers have started airing creepy and goofy ads that try to discourage young people from signing up for health plans via the ACA. They want to cripple the program so that it will fail. Ultimately, so do a great number of Republican senators and congressmen.
ACA counts on everyone getting health insurance, young and old, well and sick, so that the costs are kept down. If only sick people sign up for insurance, then the insurance companies will have to raise rates to care for them, since there won’t be any well people to help offset the expenses, so the theory goes. As I said previously, it might work, or it might not. But it’s worth a try.
But Ted Cruz doesn’t care about my brother. He doesn’t care if he can’t get healthcare. He doesn’t care of others like him can’t get healthcare. So he gabbed and gabbed on the Senate floor in a quixotic attempt to halt ACA from taking effect. Stop those damn exchanges. It’s slavery. It’s Nazi Germany all over again. He sounded like an ass, though he’s more dangerous than a garden-variety simpleton. His agenda is destructive, lethal. He doesn’t care who lives or dies.
I care. I need my brother to live fully and well. I need ACA to move forward on schedule. And it will. Cruz and his cronies may cause a government shutdown, but they won’t kill off the healthcare plan. On this the President must stand firm. For my brother, he must stand firm.
© 2013, gar. All rights reserved.