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Why We Must Vote on November 6, 2018.

Posted on | November 2, 2018 | 1 Comment

Mike Magee

The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal calls recent anti-ACA moves by Trump “a bleak example of American exceptionalism – no other nation fails people who are ill so spectacularly as we do.”

What has him so riled up is twofold: 1) the erosion of private health insurance with Trump’s executive order with HHS follow through allowing degraded plans to satisfy a citizens requirement for health care coverage under the ACA, and 2) the cynical claims of Republican candidates that they stand foursquare against denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions even as 20 Republican state governors press forward with a federal suit to – yes – “deny coverage.”

By the way, 8 in 10 Americans say denying coverage based on ones prior medical record should be illegal.

The link between poverty and health coverage in the U.S. couldn’t be more self-evident. And the threat of “under-insurance” is a big part of it. A recent Commonwealth Fund survey, with 9 of 10 respondents technically insured, found that half had serious financial woes tied to illness.

National estimates peg numbers of Americans caught in this financial death spiral last year include some 15 million who exhausted their life savings after taking ill, and 9 million who came up short on utilities, rent, and even food.

And all this for a national “investment” of $4 trillion a year –  which if applied properly could not only achieve universal coverage but also bolster a range of weakened social determinants of health and erase the ubiquitous presence of erosive disincentives to access like co-pays and deductibles.

What’s truly amazing is the willingness of Republican governors to vote against their self-interest. Consider the fact that the highest rates of maternal deaths and premature births are in the South and lower Midwest.

Over the past three years in the U.S., 27,000 additional babies have been born prematurely in large part due to poor prenatal care. Top honors go to Mississippi at roughly 14% of all births before 37 weeks gestation. Vermont’s rate is half that. Race, educational level, and employment are all determinative of risk of prematurity.

Tomorrow’s vote is a health care vote for sure. But it is also a values vote. Who are we? What are we? Why are we here on this Earth, at this time, in this place? All of the answers hang in the balance.

Comments

One Response to “Why We Must Vote on November 6, 2018.”

  1. azure
    November 5th, 2018 @ 8:29 pm

    “What’s truly amazing is the willingness of Republican governors to vote against their self-interest. Consider the fact that the highest rates of maternal deaths and premature births are in the South and lower Midwest.”

    No, what’s truly amazing and very disheartening is the many people who VOTE for those GOP governor candidates who are at risk of medical bankruptcy. Or have experienced it.

    There was a subheadline in either Reuters or Ft.com today reporting that Terrump is saying that the Dems want to destroy Medicare. He feels free to stated that even though McConnell & some other GOP members of Congress have publicly stated that they plan to get rid of all the Social Security programs and Medicare. I can guarantee you that a frightening number of US voters won’t be aware of (or perhaps even care about) the contradiction. Even if it’s likely to affect them.

    You’d think that everyone in the US has enough saved/invested that they can happily do without SS retirement benefits (or disabilty coverage, survivors benefits, dependents benefits . . . ) or Medicare coverage.

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