If I hear you say this one more time...
"We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’ ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.
“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”
...I swear I will walk to the next campaign stop you have, no matter where it is, and start screaming until you hear me. So just take a minute, shut your stupid campaign advisers up, sit down, and listen.
Let's start with Ann, your very own wife. Your campaign loves to talk about how she fought back against MS and cancer to be here today. Do you truly believe that would have been possible if you didn't have the health insurance and means to make sure her medical bills were covered?
How did Ann discover she had breast cancer? Did she find a lump and go to the doctor? Or did she have a mammogram? Was it covered by your health insurance? If so, then imagine yourself penniless (I know, it's a stretch of your imagination, but try). Do you think it would have been caught early enough to be handled with a lumpectomy? Because it wouldn't have.
What if you were poor instead of rich in 1998 when Ann started having MS symptoms? Do you think she would have been able to go to a doctor? No, here's how that would have gone. Perhaps she felt dizzy from time to time, or had pain she couldn't explain. Maybe her vision got weird or she was having memory lapses. Whatever the symptoms, if you were not insured and did not have any money, the emergency room would not have helped you one bit.
Here's what would have happened. You might have taken her to the emergency room, where they would take your information including employer, Social Security number, driver's license number, and other information. They would immediately have seen that her condition was not life-threatening and sent her on her way. Whatever costs were incurred would follow her to wherever she worked and lived.
No diagnosis for Ann, but if she actually was lucky enough to get a job and be eligible for her employer's health insurance, that visit to the emergency room meant a pre-existing conditions exclusion would be slapped on her for six months or so, while the MS went untreated. And because the MS went untreated, she might not be able to actually hold onto that job due to cognitive or physical disability.
So now she can't get insurance and she still has no diagnosis, and there's no available treatment for her because she can't afford it, and no neurologist will take her as a patient without some way to pay. While all of this is going on, you and your pals are busy cutting back Medicaid benefits, making eligibility so impossible to meet that it covers children, but not their parents unless they're living in dumpsters and maybe not even then. Because all of your children are adults by the time these symptoms appear, Medicaid might not even cover her at all ever, since she has no dependent children to meet those eligibility requirements.
And still, the emergency room will not treat or medicate the symptoms of MS. Nor will there be any dressage horse for Ann, nor will there be any alternative treatments, nor will there be any traditional treatment, nor will there even be a diagnosis! Because there is no money for those things. Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing take the money. No money for medicine or doctors. None.
Yet you have the audacity to say that emergency rooms are adequate, that they're not going to let you have your heart attack in an apartment.
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