The United States Senate will take steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act immediately by the end of this week. The House of Representatives has already started moving toward a repeal. The ACA is a disaster and a nightmare, they say.
My mom is covered under the ACA. It hasn’t been a disaster for her. In fact, it’s the only way she can get health insurance right now. She has Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare, sporadic neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive disability then death.
A new, “better” plan will be put in place, representatives assure us. Yet we have no assurances of when that plan will begin, what it will entail or what people on the ACA will do in the meantime. When the new plan is put in place, my mother will need to research, reapply, reestablish and relearn everything about her healthcare insurance. She’ll need to fight through the road bumps of health care claims not being approved, as they inevitably are in the case of rare disease. She’ll need to suffer the frustration of re-educating a new insurance company all about the devastation of MSA: what it is, what it means, and why they need to cover her. She’ll need to do this while already fighting the illness she deals with daily.
The ACA is being repealed by Congress because of politics, of course. If our representatives truly cared about bringing health insurance to Americans, they would take what’s in place, fix what isn’t working, stop the money they say it’s hemorrhaging, deal with its cost increases, and improve it, rather than putting an entirely new process in place that will cause stress, fear and pain for people who are already too well acquainted with stress, fear and pain. But they will not leave it in place, because it was not put in place by their political party. It doesn’t have a Republican name on it. If the roles were reversed, I’m not so naïve as to believe Democrats would do anything differently.
“If our representatives truly cared about bringing health insurance to Americans, they would take what’s in place, fix what isn’t working, stop the money they say it’s hemorrhaging, deal with its cost increases, and improve it.”
Don’t worry, people tell me. You’re overreacting. The new plan will take care of her. She’ll still have insurance. It’ll probably be replaced with something very similar to what she already has.
This, to me, is only more evidence of partisanship that causes so much suffering for people who deserve so much better. My mother, now a proud grandmother, devoted her life to her husband and to raising me and my brother, something members of both political parties would say they respect beyond measure. Yet they now yank and jerk her life and the lives of so many others back and forth in their immature power struggle. Worse, they do this under the obvious lie and guise of helping.
Please. Do better by us.