I have a serious chronic illness which the government believes does not exist. According to the government and CDC, Lyme Disease is curable after 6 weeks of antibiotics, and if you’re still sick after that, you’re mentally ill. Lyme symptoms are listed in the DSM 5. Millions of people suffer from Lyme and Chronic Lyme just in this country, and it is a world-wide epidemic that NO GOVERNMENT covers in single-payer or insurance. I posted a video made by the lyme community below.
People with chronic Lyme have to stay on medications indefinitely. I’ve been on them for 20 years, and if I go off for a month I start to lose mobility, memory, hair, ability to sleep. I can’t focus, can’t make a fist. Within six months I’d be completely crippled, unable to go to the bathroom on my own, like I was before I could get medicated.
I lost my speaking voice forevr and was left with a whisper. Before that I was a professional singer. But due to misdiagnosis and mistreatment by doctors, I lost something I can never get back.
Prior to Obama’s election I spoke out about my worries about Obamacare. All of my worries came to pass – and worse. At the time I could not prove that this would happen, but based on rational guesses from doctors all over the country, my own doctors etc, I had a feeling this would not work out well. I’m not a doctor or an analyst, but I am AFFECTED by this policy.
My healthcare costs have quadrupled since 2008. My medical bills are now about 50k a year out of pocket, and I am still not healthy enough to keep a full time job. I cannot acquire several medications that I could acquire easily in 2007. My insurance closed down due to being unable to afford to stay open due to Obamacare mandates, my new insurance closed down soon for the same reason, and the third does not cover medications I used to get , due to Obamacare mandates.
When I spoke out about my worries, I was mocked, talked down to, told I was stupid and racist by “friends” on the left. Perfectly healthy people, who would not be affected by this policy the way I would. The point is not whether I had “proof,” whether I could argue like a lawyer, or whether I was right or wrong. I understand that I’m not a lawyer, and as an artist my language can be less precise. But my worries were real, and came true. And there was NO EXCUSE for my friends on the left to call me names like that when I was voicing real concerns. And I am a liberal-minded person.. pro-choice, sympathetic to BLM, pro gay marriage.. I used to sing at gay rights and womens’ rights events. So there was no reason for people to accuse me of being racist/sexist/ idiotic or whatever, just because I opposed a policy on the left and was very loud about it *because of how it affects me.*
Some liberals like to talk about privilege. Yet, able-bodied people were, as some liberals call it, “ablesplaining” to a chronically ill person why their concerns about a *health care bill* which could mean life or death for that person, were not real. My own… so called.. friends.
I may have said some over-the-top things about Obama, “libtards,” or other politicians, and my words and actions are entirely my responsibility – but on the other hand, when people treat me this way knowing how much I have suffered – I have …*gasp* … EMOTIONS, and get.. gasp.. *ANGRY.* Yes, I am human, and not a robot! So then it’s easy to corner me and say “You are speaking with your heart instead of about facts,” “You said something out of line,” etc, but really, I felt so alone and disheartened, overlooked, dehumanized and betrayed, what’s to be expected? When a very sick person voices concerns about a healthcare policy and then their “friends” repeatedly silence them and call them racist, they are likely to get angry! BIG shocker!
There is no reason to alienate people like this. Even if I’d ended up being wrong, the complete lack of empathy that I received from many people – people who OFTEN post very charged political posts on their own pages about issues that don’t affect them nearly as directly – was disheartening. For this reason, I doubt I will be voting for any democrat for a very long time; possibly for the rest of my life.
The left – including much of the media, and Hillary Clinton calling Trump voters “deplorables” – encourages, and sets the premise for, this behavior. So I cannot, in good conscience, support them.
And every time I see a post saying something like “Everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist homophobe” – I think to myself, here they go again with the lack of empathy! here they go again calling anyone who opposes them “names” instead of listening. I do agree there is lots of racism, homophobia, sexism etc. backing Trump for those exact reasons, but there are also people who are concerned about their financial and medical well-being, and who are sick of current policies. Not to mention the war policy. Some empathy, and LISTENING, could further the liberal cause much faster than name-calling, ostricization, etc.
Trump promised long before election that he would keep the laws about pre-existing conditions, so that people who are already sick are not denied insurance. So I know he is maintaining some of the important parts of Obamacare.
Your question is excellent but I am not sure if I can answer it yet. Since long before Obamacare, I knew the system needed to change – and none of the republicans were claiming it didn’t. When I wrote posts about my worries, people said republicans “didn’t care about the sick” and “didn’t care about the poor” which was not true. Romney himself wrote a healthcare bill in MA which Obama modeled his ideas on. So I thought that type of response that people often gave, about republicans “not giving a shit,” was divisive and untrue. It felt, to me, motivated more by teamthink than facts and history about republicans who WERE trying to change things, but simply had different ideas about how it should be done.
I think we need to move more in the direction of “doctor patient relationship” and away from government involvement. I cannot possibly tell you how much red tape I have to go through to acquire any one of 10-15 prescription medications I have to take every day. I cannot tell you how many times I show up for a procedure and I have to come back another day because some doctor’s order didn’t make it through 5 steps of red tape that have nothing to do with me. I can’t tell you how many hours I have wasted breaking into tears because I couldn’t get through the teleprompts since they didn’t pick up my whispery voice, and I couldn’t get the medications I needed – and once I would FINALLY reach who I needed to reach, then I would be told I can’t get what I need because of red tape, so I should call back tomorrow.
I think we do need options for the poor and unemployed to get health care. I don’t think anyone rational – republican or democrat – is complaining about paying slightly higher taxes to help the poor. The complaints are that we are paying higher and higher taxes and health care is still inaccessible to many people.
I know that some people benefitted from Obamacare, but it’s simply not enough for more than half the country to feel that they’re paying more and getting worse health care, even if some people benefit. And that is *always* the result of single-payer and government health care in any country. My husband is from Belgium and I have other close friends in other parts of Europe and Canada, and the story is – they don’t cover or acknowledge Chronic Lyme, and people with a variety of illnesses pay high taxes but do not get any coverage, so the rich come to the USA for care (My parents are psychiatrists and we live an hour from NYC and they get patients from Canada who have waited on line for years!!) ….
The more government takes over medicine, the more it drives up the costs of private care. So the portion of the population whose illnesses do not fit into a neat checklist, cannot get care. My friend’s mother was recently denied her cancer treatment and died, and she had no problem getting this treatment before O-care. The costs of private treatment soar when the doctors have to hire several lawyers to make sure they won’t get sued for treating their patients adequately, several secretaries to fill out the piles and piles of papers the government requires them to fill out in order to make any decisions, etc. What happens is the doctors cannot make a living this way so they simply turn away complicated patients, and those patients (like me) are left to find an even more expensive specialist.
So – does it need to be replaced? Well, the whole system needs to change. Of course there need to be health care options for the poor, for everyone – – but we are accepting the premise that the central government needs to (and will) pay for this. I am not sure why that’s the only solution that some people see. There needs to be care available, but I am not sure if trusting the central government is the answer. If you think of it this way – there are so many people in the USA that we are all , basically, statistics to them. Make things a little more localized (states, maybe?) and you have more personal involvement and less levels of red tape for people who are already sick and suffering, and more likely to be poor because it’s hard to work when you are sick.
So I can’t claim to have a perfect answer, but even though I didn’t vote for Trump for other reasons, I am happy with the direction he is going with this. I need to see a little mroe of what he is planning to have a real answer.. right now I’m mostly venting thoughts and rambling. I am interested in articles and sentiments like this which express different viewpoints on how these problems could be addressed, but I’m not educated enough in these fields to claim to have “the answers.”
So, long story short I would say yes – the ACA has thousands of pages of red tape and nonsense, and I would rather get rid of that and start over with a different premise, even if it involves government health plans.