Pic from a twitter friend Miriam @ABC..used by permission.
There are a few interesting things going on In politics right now that really aren’t making the news cycle yet. One is a past history story that will predictably become a larger story in the near future. Ive been writing on that and will finish it soon but today I wanted to write on something I saw that really bothered me today.
As many of you know on here, I do a good bit of protesting particularly in Washington DC. I haven’t been there of late due to a fracture in my foot and a knee injury. But do get tagged and updates on things because I am there often and return the favor. I got a disturbing text which sent me into my twitter account about a protest outside Mitch McConnell’s office today of the disabled opposing the cutting of Medicaid assistance with pre-existing conditions. McConnell actually worked with the lobbyists on the healthcare bill before consulting anyone else including his own members in Senate.
The new healthcare bill is going to phase out medicaid expansions and this hurts the elderly and disabled, people dont think about that, block grants arent going to cover the costs and the states cant cover the expense.
What most people do not understand and have not for years and unfortunately I do, is that prior to the PPACA, even people who work, rely on Medicaid as a healthcare choice IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY. The law prevents discrimination against the disabled, except in this area, this would be due to the excessive amount of lobbying dollars spent to ignore the high costs to insurance companies for those with pre-existing conditions. I believe the current year totals are 78m for pharmaceuticals, 34 million for healthcare and another 24 million in misc healthcare related businesses. It’s a big business in this country, healthcare. Business always profits from those that can least afford it and need it the most.
I have nothing against free market except when free market interferes with the lives of people, that’s a line that business should not cross. So today was a protest against that line, against McConnell and against the new healthcare plan which eliminates Medicaid for tax cuts to people who need it far more. Please understand, this isn’t welfare, this is sometimes the only alternative for a person who cannot work, like someone diagnosed with cancer and their healthcare gets terminated for multiple reasons w/o PPACA coverage. This happened to my Aunt Kathy right before the PPACA was enacted.
Ill give you an example, myself. I worked for 40 years. In two jobs I had health insurance, two. Out of those 40 years I took medicine for all of those years and had a disability that without it, I could not have worked. Fortunately, my mother was a nurse and got the medicine at a discount, I was married for 10 years and for 4 of those years my husband had healthcare at a steel mill so I had healthcare. The remaining 6 years was difficult because I had to pay cash for my medicine.
When I moved to Baltimore, I got onto Medicaid in 1990 after advice from a friend. I didn’t even know it existed. So my daughter and I could go to the doctors and I could stop putting out money for my meds, which as it turns out was a GREAT THING because I found out I was pregnant and they changed my medicine both for the baby and liver issues from the lifelong usage of Dilantin. But the medicine was VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE. It was not paid for by Social services and my doctor and I had to appear at a hearing for it to be paid. They consented and I got my medicine.
In 2001, I had a status epilepticus, which almost killed me (kinda like a minor stroke). They changed my medicine again. This time I was working and on insurance. They had to change my medicine again, it was very expensive and there were NO generics for the drugs so I had to pay 35% out of pocket. Now my medicines were 1300.00 per month. I brought home 1600.00, and had to pay around 450.00 a month for my meds..my Mom helped and so did Medicaid. I could NEVER have done it without the State program and the Epilepsy Association that helped get onto the temporary assistance. This lasted until 2006.
When I started at the end of 2006 at my longest term job, the insurance denied coverage of anything to do with my disability for 1 year, no medicine. Because my income had increased substantially, I was no longer eligible for Medicaid and the medicine was even more expensive then. So I paid cash for one of them and the other two I got pharmaceutical cards for, which paid for most of the cost and I paid a deductible for a term of one year. In January 2008,, I had health insurance and it paid for most of my medicine going forward and I had other allowances to also help.
Since that time, the PPACA came along and I don’t have to be concerned with that anymore, the cost of my meds have come down (due to generics) to about 400.00 a month and I am guaranteed to not have to worry about my medicines. I cannot explain to you what it feels like to have a brain disorder, but nothing I have experienced in MY life is as painful or as debilitating. But it is nothing compared to the instability of not knowing if you will have a way to pay for your medicines due to expense and those must come first or you cant work and feed your kids. Its scary and thats underplaying it quite a bit. Those people in DC today, just want security in their healthcare thus a quality of life. Its kind of like others who want security in their investments or tax breaks. Except I dont think these are adequate comparisons nor a reason to beat handicapped people down.
There are 10s of millions of people that have to worry about healthcare now, but not only that, their medicines. Critical things to give them SOME quality of life. These things are beyond their control, they didn’t ask for the issues, like cancer, leukemia, Asthma, Some kinds of Diabetes, Some heart conditions, back disorders like spinal stenosis that are inherited, arthritis and other things that are more rare and incurable.
It is a shame that a small percentage of US citizens and Congress don’t care about the 53 million adults who have disabilities and about 15% of children have some sort of disability, whether it be learning, behavioral or health. Such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Cancer, Leukemia and ADHD. It really reared it ugly head today in the halls of the Capital building while the Capital Police ripped a disabled woman out of her wheelchair and dragged her away or another man got dragged away bleeding.
This is not how PEOPLE are supposed to treat each other…not last week or this week. It seems people dont want to deal with unpleasant things...but they are out there. You can't hide the disabled in an asylum, they were gone long ago, the disabled have rights now. You cant , beat them to death or take away something people need to live. People this needs to stop, we cant shoot each other or hide the problems...we need to deal with this.