Lyin' Paul Ryan has come up with a new brilliant budgetary idea because he is in no way, never, nope, not going to do it, being the presidential nominee for the Republicans. Because starving grandma isn't enough to get him attention, he now wants to stop the part of Obamacare that allows people with preexisting conditions to also have affordable health care insurance.
Ryan's rationale for this approach is because only ten percent of Americans under the age of 65 have preexisting conditions but they are just way too expensive to keep alive. Gee, that comes to only about 27 million people. Apparently the Republicans are bound and determined to create the fabled death panels since they couldn't find these imaginary entities anywhere.
It's pretty easy for Ryan to make such a cold and callous statement. If something were to happen to him or one of his loved ones, he could easily use some of his wife's family's millions of dollars to cover any medical bills.
Unfortunately, not every one is that fortunate. While Ryan has no problem swilling down $350 bottles of wine, many Americans can't afford $350 for a month's supply of food.
It's also easy to pass that death sentence so easily because he doesn't bother himself with actually getting to know the little people. Oh sure, he might shake some hands and kiss some babies at election times, but then when he has won, he quickly scrubs their germs off his skin and returns to schmooze his wealthy paymasters.
The rest of us aren't and can't be so callous. Odds are that the gentle reader, if not a beneficiary of Obamacare themselves, knows someone close to them that is.
For me, that person is Jeff Simpson, my coauthor at Cog Dis and one of my closest friends.
Sadly, Jeff has cancer. He already had a good sized tumor removed but it came back about a year later. If it weren't for affordable health care coverage, Jeff would have died a painful death a long time ago. But with coverage, he is able to spend more time with his beautiful and devoted wife. He is able to spend more time making memories with his two young children.
Jeff, who has always been and always will be a fighter, wasn't about to take this quietly. He wrote about this, not just as a lefty blogger, but as a person who has cancer, as a person who would be directly impacted - as well as his family - if Ryan were allowed to get his way:
Before I get accused of histrionics and hyperbole, I understand that allowing insurance companies to drop us "who are really kind of uninsurable," will not immediately kill all of us. It will immediately kill some of us, and eventually kill a vast majority of us.
I know personally, without the quality health insurance I have, I would have died a horrible painful death by now. There isn't a health savings account south of Janna Ryan's family Oklahoma oil money,that could even come close to putting a dent in the bills my medical issues have racked up.
Now Mr. Ryan, who is third in line from the Presidency of the United States, has decided it would be best if insurance companies would not have to cover me for a reasonable rate.
After giving some of the horrible facts about cancer, Jeff continues:
The only possible way to get early diagnosis and treatment is to have affordable health care and see your doctor regularly. Without health insurance or with a ridiculously high deductible, people will not go to the doctor and get treated. Nikolas Kristof of the New York Times gave us an incredible inside look of just this very instance that happened to a good friend of his. It is a tough but very important read.
But wait there is more! If an insurance company is allowed to drop you after a diagnosis, then you are stuck during the hardest time in your life(trust me it takes quite some time for the (you have cancer) news to truly sink in) calling around and pricing private insurance plans for the uninsurable.
One thing for me, and I am sure most others, is consistency in care. When you change or price insurance companies, you have to keep your doctors in mind. My case is so incredibly complicated, I have at one time or another, spent time with 8 different groups of surgical specialists. Can you imagine half way through treatment/diagnosis having to switch to another hospital and finding a whole new group of 8 different teams and get them up to speed while hoping that the insurance company I picked was not also planning on dropping me.
The stress on not just me, but my family, and wife and children was unbearable to begin with. When a family member gets an illness the whole family and friends get it also. Does Mr. Ryan also plan on allowing the insurance companies to drop my wife and kids also because I am expensive? If that is the case, the 27.5 million Americans starts to increase exponentially.
We know from experience and hindsight that many patients can not wait for treatment because of no insurance, shopping insurance companies or denial of services by the insurance company you have.
I tell you, the significance of Ryan's hits home when you can put a face to it. It's even more powerful if that face is that of a friend or a loved one.
Which made me think that it would be a wonderful idea if we all wrote a letter to Lyin' Ryan, sharing with him a picture of us or a loved one and their story about how Obamacare has helped them and what it would mean if they lost it.
Maybe, just maybe, if Ryan hasn't sold his entire soul to the devil, and he has to put a face or thousands or even millions of faces to it, he might have an inkling of how bad his suggestion really is.