A Letter on the American Health Care Act

The United States House of Representatives has just passed the phenomenally unpopular American Healthcare Act which is nothing but a complete travesty and a moral disgrace. The bill in question will repeal the Affordable Care Act as well as institute a healthcare policy that would take away or worsen coverage from millions of Americans, especially those on Medicaid and/or with preexisting conditions. In addition, the AHCA would allow states to apply for a waiver to opt out most of the regulations and consumer protections Obamacare gives. Under these waivers, states could allow insurance companies to charge older people 5 times more than the young for the same policy. They can eliminate required coverage called essential health benefits such as maternity care, mental health care, emergency services, hospitalization, preventive care, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drugs. And they can charge more or deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions like cancer, diabetes, or arthritis. Not to mention, these waivers can also impact those with employer-based health insurance because they’d allow insurers to offer policies with annual and lifetime limits that the ACA bans. And some companies may choose those policies for their workers to lower their premiums. Never have I seen any form of legislation emanating such disdain for the most vulnerable suffering among us. And what horrifies me more is that these 217 Republicans would proudly cast their vote for such appalling disrespect of human dignity. This is a moral outrage and there’s absolutely no justification for it. These 217 Republicans don’t deserve any respect or recognition as decent human beings. Because no principled legislator, Democrat or Republican, would vote for a horrendous bill like this or celebrate taking healthcare away from their constituents afterwards.

For Republicans to craft such policy in the first place is nothing but monstrous cruelty. So it goes without saying that the AHCA is a bill that nobody asked for and nobody wants. The whole healthcare industry and medical establishment virtually condemned it. Countless polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans hate it for very good reasons. Experts tore it to shreds. But 217 Republicans voted to pass this wretched AHCA anyway despite such strong objections, including from their own constituents who elected them. Congressional Republicans just moved this travesty to the floor with no Congressional Budget Office Score, no committee hearings, no studies, and very few public discussions. It was all put to the floor in secrecy and haste. And Republicans tried to sell this bill with a campaign of flat-out lies and deceit. Cheeto Head has promised to cover everyone, even those who can’t afford healthcare. Republicans repeatedly promised that the AHCA would give Americans more choice and lower premiums and deductibles. Even House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy swore that nobody would have their Medicaid taken away from them. But they’ve opposed any specific healthcare plan that does these things and refuse to defend their policy outcome their actual position would bring about. What’s in the AHCA clearly reflects this.

I can’t think of anyone in their right mind who’d support this nightmare bill that is nothing but a disaster to all Americans. The American Healthcare Act is just a $1 trillion tax cut scheme to benefit their selfish donors who don’t want to pay for someone else’s medical treatment. But it’s a scheme that would cause tens of millions to lose coverage, slash hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicaid, and send premiums skyrocketing for older and poorer Americans. If it becomes law, the consequences will be absolutely devastating. The AHCA will kill significant numbers of Americans. Some will lose their Medicaid, won’t go to the doctor, and will wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. There will also be some whose serious conditions will put up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools and suddenly can’t get treatment. Families will go bankrupt due to high medical bills. Such notions aren’t abstractions or exaggerations but the reality. To millions of Americans, whether the AHCA became law isn’t just a matter of politics or even morality. It’s a matter of life or death.

What the AHCA vote to pass it shows that 217 congressional Republicans don’t think their lives matter and are indifferent to their suffering. And it’s even worse that they celebrate their morally abominable actions with carts of booze and liquor rolling in to the chambers. Now they have blood on their hands. These people must be held to account as well their decision can and should be a career-defining vote for every member of the House. No congressman voting for such vicious legislation should ever be allowed to forget it. Angry and betrayed constituents should make their intensity and revulsion of what their representatives had done clear. And these reps should be challenged about it at every townhall meeting, at every campaign debate, in every election, and every day with letters and phone calls. Even if this malicious bill never becomes law and its potential harm averted, it still doesn’t excuse its supporters’ moral responsibility. The AHCA is one of the most critical moments of American history and an act of unspeakable cruelty that should haunt those who supported it to the end of their days.

As a Catholic, liberal, and American, I believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed for all. To me, a for-profit market healthcare system the United States currently has simply shouldn’t exist. Nobody should be denied healthcare, especially when they need it. To deny a sick person needed care for whatever reason is nothing short of discrimination at best and a human rights violation at worst. Your access to healthcare shouldn’t be determined by what job you have or whether you got one, how much money you make, whether you have a preexisting condition, whatever health plan you have, how sick you are, who your parents are, where you live, or whatever else. All Americans are entitled to seek the medical treatment they need without breaking the bank. And nobody should die for being denied a medical treatment that would’ve saved their life.

Unfortunately, much of the country doesn’t see it that way since the for-profit healthcare is what dominates the US medical system which I strongly believe is discriminatory, costly, and unsustainable. Though Obamacare has significantly expanded coverage for millions of Americans as well as achieved significant progress, there’s still a long way to go. It may not cover everyone nor is it perfect, but the fact it has improved and increased healthcare coverage for millions of Americans who’d otherwise wouldn’t have makes it worthy to uphold for the time being. If Obamacare should be repealed and replaced, then it might as well be in favor of a single payer system or at a plan that at least fixes its problems. Any healthcare plan that provides anything less is unacceptable. Any plan that takes coverage away from any Americans and makes healthcare even more unaffordable is morally reprehensible. And anyone in Congress who supports a healthcare plan like the AHCA doesn’t stand for their constituents’ interests. Sure they may not believe healthy people shouldn’t pay for sick people’s care. But such constructs are utterly indefensible when American lives are at stake. Besides, the idea of healthy people paying for the sick is how health insurance works. It’s not anyone’s fault for getting sick, injured, mentally ill, or having a disability. So why should they be punished for not pulling their weight if they can’t afford treatment? There’s no reason for it because they certainly don’t deserve to die.

As the American Healthcare Act moves to the Senate, the lives and futures of Americans are now at stake. People are deeply terrified of this bill becoming law. Regardless of party affiliation, the US Senate must do everything it can to make sure the AHCA dies and never becomes law. The fight for affordable healthcare in America isn’t a matter of political football. It’s a matter of life or death. To support the AHCA is to defend the indefensible. To threaten access to people’s healthcare is irresponsible, inexcusable, and dangerous. And it flagrantly violates our nation’s values. Clearly, Americans deserve a better healthcare plan than this utter monstrosity. And they deserve better representatives with the 217 Republicans who just sold their souls. There’s nothing decent about the AHCA and no lawmaker should ever vote for it. And its passage in the House of Representatives doesn’t reflect the will of the American people at all nor brings credit to our nation’s ideals. The last thing the United States needs right now is to return to the horrors of the pre-Obamacare system which the AHCA seeks to bring back. For the love of God, I plead to my fellow Americans to not have us go through that hell again. And if it becomes law, I will absolutely not stand for it. Enough is enough and we can’t allow this catastrophe. The AHCA must die for the sake of the nation. These are the times that try men’s souls as now is the winter of our discontent. And we do what we can until the AHCA is completely dead before it ever gets to Trump’s desk. Because if it gets there, we’re all fucked.

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One response to “A Letter on the American Health Care Act

  1. I am thoroughly disgusted with this bill and will make it my new passion for any Republican in the house from our state to fight like hell to not have him elected. My new #hashtag pre-existing condition for any politician voting for this eliminated my vote for their re-election and my resolve to fight against them all the way! This is an absolute insult and the greedy uncaring elitist Republicans need to have repurcussions for their actions and their health care taken away. Theyv need skin in the game!

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